CONFUSION over the name of a new park created in Bedworth has been cleared up.
There had been some bewilderment about what the new play area that has been created in the Miner’s Welfare Park in the town will be called.
Recently a ceremony had taken place to open the facility with the name ‘Heaven’s Special Children’s Place’.
But as reported in the Nuneaton News on Saturday the park is set to be dedicated to hero soldier, Sgt Simon Valentine who lost his life in Afghanistan.
To ensure clarity Phil Richardson, director of governance and recreation at Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, said: “Aiming High had grant monies available to help disabled children and, after consultation with parents of those children, decided that an especially designed accessible play area would be built.
“Warwickshire County Council engaged with children to get their help on designing the facility and at the last minute Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council was approached for help with both funding and implementing the play area, which we were keen to do in recognition of the importance of providing play opportunities for all children in the community.
“The borough council committed £80,000 of money to the project and agreed to take it on and deliver it in the Miners’ Welfare Park.”
He added: “It was recommended by the cabinet that the play area be dedicated to the memory of Sgt Simon Valentine, the Bedworth hero who sadly died whilst fighting for his country in Afghanistan, and this was agreed by full council and announced at the time.
“In order to recognise the valuable input of the parents who secured the original funding we agreed to host an opening ceremony for the children who would be able to make use of the specially-designed equipment.
“To mark this opening ceremony the Wacky Forum, a group of young people with disabilities from Warwickshire, held a competition to state what the park meant to them and the winner was Heaven’s Special Children’s Place. It has always been our intention to name the play area after Sgt Simon Valentine, affording him the same honour as that given to Fusilier Louis Carter who has a play area dedicated to his name in Riversley Park.
“We have been liaising with the family of Sgt Valentine in order to organise an appropriate naming ceremony which is set to take place on Saturday, June 16, with family members, military personnel, the Mayor and members of the community present.
“Simon Valentine is a true local hero and it is important to the Council that he is recognised in the most fitting way.
“Following the dedication of the play area there will also be a smaller community event taking place at Hawkesbury Village where a garden of remembrance will be named in Sgt Valentine’s honour and a memorial from the council will be unveiled.
“The council feels very strongly that Simon Valentine’s supreme sacrifice and the attachment that the local community have to him needs to be reflected and following the dedication ceremony the play area will be known as Simon’s.”