Mansfield Play Forum could have £420,000 contract cancelled due to council cuts

Mansfield Play Forum have been awarded a �140,000 grant to fund their sevices to the community. At the celebration was Notts County Council chairman of Children and Young Peoples Services committee, Cllr Philip Owen, centre manager, Lesley Buxton and staff volunteers
Mansfield Play Forum have been awarded a �140,000 grant to fund their sevices to the community. At the celebration was Notts County Council chairman of Children and Young Peoples Services committee, Cllr Philip Owen, centre manager, Lesley Buxton and staff volunteers

A play group in Mansfield is set to lose out on hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of funding because of the upcoming council cuts.

Voluntary organisation Mansfield Play Forum celebrated earlier this year after beating 26 other firms to a lucrative three-year contract worth £420,000 to improve play parks throughout the region.

But with Nottinghamshire County Council having to slash £154m from its budget, the money to the group, looks set to be halted.

Co-ordinator Lesley Buxton said: “We are absolutely gutted, we’re just concerned for the children, we were doing the best we could to get the kids out to play.

“We had a wonderful year, we did twice as much as we were expected to do - we had 3,000 children turn up for a play day at Carr Bank Park in Mansfield. We felt like we’d pulled a rabbit out of a hat with this money, now it’s like the council has turned round and shot it!”

There are hopes that the group will not fold, having survived 27 years prior to winning the contract with the council, but they are now hoping to find alternative funding.

Lesley is now set to meet with local councillors to discuss the situation.

Coun John Peck, chairman for children and young people’s services committee at the council said no decision had been finalised, but it was being looked at ‘long and hard’. He added: “Despite these huge proposed budget cuts, we are committed to protecting the grant aid that each play forum receives from the county council over the coming year.”

He said that the council will have further discussions with Mansfield Play Forum before a final decision is made at the full council meeting in February.