Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Memorial Play Area Hope Is Rejected

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Memorial Play Area Hope Is Rejected

Article excerpt

Byline: By Paul McMillan

Grieving par-ents who campaigned for a safe play area in memory of their dead son have been left devastated.

Martin and Julie Toward have called for a safe haven for children living near their home in Elvet Close, Byker.

Jordan, who would have been 11 last Friday, died after falling through the roof of a community centre while trying to retrieve a football in May last year.

With the support of the Chronicle, the couple presented a 3,500-name petition to Newcastle City Council last summer in support of the creation of a safe play area.

A fund in his memory has also raised around pounds 6,000.

Two possible sites had been identified put the plans have been rejected at public consultation.

But the Towards were told by their local councillor that the proposed sites for a new play area had not received sufficient support from residents.

A council spokesman said: "The councillors will meet with the Toward family to discuss how to commemorate Jordan in a different way that involves young people in the area."

Julie said today: "In four weeks' time it will be a year since this happened.

"When I was by his grave I thought it has not been for nothing if this has managed to keep just one kid safe. I cannot stand to think it has been for nothing.

"For a full year we have been told `yes, you will be successful in getting a play site' and then they turn around and say `no'.

"We did not think there was any way it could fail. We had Labour backing us, we had the Lib Dems backing us and we had letters from Nick Brown and Tony Blair. We thought 'how can it not go ahead?'

"Basically we were hoping that if a play area had been built it would have been a reminder that children should play safe.

"The children are still playing at the Geoffrey Rhodes Centre, where it happened, nothing has really changed. …

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