Strong support for Saffron Walden Common playground renewal proposals – take survey

Saffron Walden Town Council has completed the second public display of its proposals for renewing the Common playground, and received overwhelming support from residents. Residents can provide feedback online using the survey button below.

The initiative has been led by R4U’s Paul Gadd and supported by councillors Sharon Morris and Arthur Coote. They conducted a second feedback event in the Market Square last Saturday following the previous event hosted by Town Council officers. R4U has said that it is delighted by the positive feedback towards the proposal so far.

R4U councillors Sharon Morris and Heather Asker gained feedback from residents at Saturday’s market

R4U councillor Paul Gadd, leader of the SWTC Playground Working Group said: “The current Common playground was installed 45 years ago, and had a moderate refurbishment nearly 2 decades ago. Whilst it still meets all current safety standards, much of the equipment is outdated and reaching the end of its life. Also there is no disability-enabled equipment. Saffron Walden has grown hugely since the playground was first installed, and beyond a few small local play areas there has been no significant investment in play equipment for many years. We were delighted by the enthusiasm shown by the residents so far. On Saturday we received more than 450 responses in favour of renewing the playground, with only 1 response against.”

The R4U led Town Council received a string of awards for the maintenance of its existing playgrounds in 2017.

Click on image for larger view.

Councillor Gadd continued “Since R4U councillors were first elected in 2015 we have rebuilt the town’s finances and focused on trying to make Saffron Walden an even better place to live through a series of key initiatives. Included in those initiatives is the recently opened new path across The Common to connect both sides and the existing play area. For the playground revamp we sought proposals from 6 play equipment manufacturers, met with the two preferred suppliers, and have tried to pick the best ideas from each. The cost would be about £120k, supported from reserves that the Town Council has built up to support this type of refurbishment, and from grant funding. We’re very excited about the final proposal, and have made sure that as much as possible of the new equipment will be disability-enabled.”

Residents who missed the previous feedback events can review the proposal and provide feedback online using the survey below.

About Residents for Uttlesford

Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) is the local independent party of north-west Essex towns and villages. Formed in 2014 by a number of residents’ groups, the party believes that on local issues residents should decide, not Westminster parties.

R4U leads Uttlesford District Council (UDC). It is the fastest growing local political movement in its district. In its first election in 2015 it became the second party at UDC. In 2017 it solidified its position with a further by-election gain with 60% of the vote. In the May 2019 Local Elections R4U gained majority control of UDC winning two-thirds of the seats. The result delivered the biggest loss of seats by any UK Conservative controlled council in the UK.

R4U’s success has been based on the desire to give local people a voice and implement long range strategic and sustainable plans for their area.

R4U also leads Saffron Walden Town Council, where under its stewardship the council has rebuilt finances, invested in community assets, and won multiple awards, including the best run council in Essex. It is a minority party on Great Dunmow Town Council.

Residents for Uttlesford can be found on the web at