Councillors defer decision on Meade Park play equipment replacement

Visualisation of play equipment consisting of a metal slide and wooden steps.
One of a number of proposed designs for a replacement slide feature in Meade Park, Stoke Gifford.

Stoke Gifford parish councillors have voted to defer making a decision on replacing play equipment in Meade Park that was destroyed in an arson attack in June.

A large wooden play fort at the top of a long metal slide was destroyed in the incident, the remains of which have since been removed, although the metal slide has been retained for possible reuse.

Photo of fire-damaged play equipment.
Fire-damaged children’s play fort and slide in Meade Park, Stoke Gifford. Pictured on Monday 19th June 2023.

A public consultation on a range of proposed options was held from 8th July until 8th September, with residents being asked to select a single preferred option, and this attracted a total 67 responses:, broken down as follows:

  1. Replace with a similar wooden structure: 19 votes (28%)
  2. Replace the tower with a metal structure (that will be smaller due to pricing): 6 votes (9%)
  3. Replace with a basic platform/steps to support the slide plus installation of an additional zip wire 37 votes (55%)
  4. Other option (please describe in a comment): 5 votes (7%)

A number of the respondents who chose option #3 said they did so because a simpler structure with no sides would be less likely to be used as a meeting point by older youths.

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When the matter was discussed at a meeting of Full Council this evening (Tuesday 12th September 2023), councillors chose to take forward the option (#3) which attracted the most support in the consultation.

The parish clerk tabled quotations from three firms to carry out the work, ranging in price from £25,490 to £38,695 – this being the cost of “creating steps for a large slide and installing a zip wire”. The cheapest option would see the existing metal slide reused whereas the other two tendering firms would replace it with their own products.

Visualisation of a proposed zip wire installation.
One of a number of proposed designs for a new zip wire feature in Meade Park, Stoke Gifford.

It is hoped that the council’s insurer will cover most (if not all) of the cost of the work as quotations for replacing the destroyed play fort with a similar structure (option #1) ranged from £45,835 to £55,495. The feature cost the council just under £30,000 when it was renewed in 2021.

Chair of council Cllr Dave Addison said he was in favour of accepting the cheapest tender but other council members said they would like to see other possibilities explored, such as using metal steps instead of wooden ones which would be susceptible to another arson attack. Concerns were also raised about the lack of detailed information on the proposed zip wire installation and whether it might be possible to source a better quality product.


Following much discussion, and despite Cllr Addison pointing out that any delay might push the work into the winter season when ground conditions can be difficult, councillors voted to defer a decision until the next Full Council meeting in October.

Editor’s note: A link to the detailed feedback report on the public consultation will be appended to this article once it is published on the parish council website.

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