A YOUNG mum's hopes for a 'culture change' in Upton have sent her on a mission to establish a new park in the area.
Gill Page, a mother-of-two, attended an Upton Parish Council meeting last week and left determined to start her campaign.
She told councillors: 'Upton is a big area with a lot of young families. There is really only one park on Wealstone Lane for children to play on.
'I go to four playgroups in the area and I know there are a lot of parents out there who feel the same way. There are two brilliant parks in Hoole.
'I would like to find out where to go and who to speak to about finding funding for parks or improving the one that we already have.'
Gill said she and her two children, aged three and six, regularly go to the park on Wealstone Lane.
'They love it but after it has rained it gets very muddy and you can't go for a while. Even if there was a bark flooring, it would be much better.
'I know there are a lot of vandalism problems in the area, I have even had to talk to young people myself who were trying to damage equipment.'
Vice-chairman Cllr Eric Delaney said: 'There was a movement by Keep Upton Heath Green to put new play equipment on the Chemistry Pits.
'Ultimately, they failed because everywhere they went for funding, the grant bodies wanted to do matched funding. So they had to raise half themselves and they couldn't do it.'
Councillors said the old play area on the Chemistry Pits, off Upton Lane, was ruined by persistent vandalism attacks.
Apart from that, the only park in the area is at the Dale Barracks, which is specifically for soldiers' children to play on.
They said that Government funding for parks is based on socio-economic circumstances rather than the number of children in the area.
Cllr Delaney added: 'Parish councils can increase the precept for one year to pay for play areas, but residents don't like it.'
The council pointed out that plans for a new teen shelter in Upton for youths to use as a meeting place are in the pipeline.
'But I think if there were more facilities for young people, starting at an early age, it would make a big difference.'
Following the meeting, Gill said: 'I only went to ask about the Chemistry Pits. A few years ago residents were issued with a questionnaire asking them what they wanted to see done to it and nothing ever happened.
'I thought that something should be done, even if I have to get the ball rolling myself.'
The issue Gill raised will be mentioned at the next Upton Parish Council meeting. Gill is appealing for anybody who supports her cause to attend.
She added: 'I would also like to hear from anybody who may have any information about authorities or grant bodies where funds can be found.
'I lived in London for seven years and parks were completely different. They were places for the whole family to go and sit - not just for dog walkers and gangs of vandals.
'There needs to be a change in culture here.' If you have any information which might help Gill, call 01244 606409.