Free time means play time

A group of volunteers from Lincolnshire County Council's Highways Partnership

How volunteers from LCC’s Highways Partnership are turning their own expertise into something good for the local community.

Children in Spalding are getting a 40-metre-long specialist ‘Learn to Ride’ cycling proficiency track and a refresh of a neighbouring play area thanks to LCC’s Councillor Volunteer Scheme (CVS).

The work is happening at the Thames Road play park and is being carried out by construction company Eurovia as part of their LCC Social Value commitment for the Spalding Relief Road.

The adjacent play park will also be given a paint refresh by Balfour Beatty, LCC’s Highways partner.

As part of being a contractor with the authority, partner companies make a pledge to take part in a Social Value commitment which means working with LCC and local councillors on selected projects in the county on a voluntary basis.

It happens like this - local county councillors submit suggestions for community improvements in their patch which get submitted to the CVS. From that database schemes are selected around the County – all under the Social Value commitment tag.

Volunteers from Highways contract partners, local communities and the county council give up their time to provide the expertise and muscle-power, companies provide the materials and communities get small-scheme improvements that could otherwise be passed over.

On the right (new) track

With materials, plant and labour donated by Eurovia and its sub-contractors, the machinery is on site to dig out and lay the extensive foundations for the 40m long cycle track. Once the groundworks are finished a multi-coloured surface will be laid and markings, the same as those used on actual roads will be added.

Cllr Rob Gibson, who submitted the work request after speaking to residents in the area said: “I’m delighted that we can get these works carried out as part of the CVS initiative. What’s happening here is going to make a big difference for families who use this play area.

“Working with Eurovia and other contract partners in this way shows the terrific level of commitment to our area from LCC partner contract companies.

“Many people have come together to make this happen and it’s their expertise and enthusiasm for doing genuine good in this part of Spalding that will leave a great legacy for children to use and enjoy. This shows what can be done alongside huge projects like the Spalding Relief Road in a smaller scale and on a volunteer basis. 

“Whilst this is just one of the Social Value commitment schemes that are happening around Lincolnshire there are many more that have happened and will be coming up.

“I’d strongly advise anybody in our county who has an area that needs a refresh, or wants something specifically for the community, to go to their local county councillor and tell them the idea.

“Through the CVS we try to get as many of these schemes carried out as we possibly can and we’re always listening to any suggestions made by residents as to how to improve a local area.”

Rachel Galley, regional social value lead for Eurovia added: “Our aim is to leave a lasting legacy wherever we work and with the SWRR project, working collaboratively with Lincolnshire County Council’s Highways Councillor Volunteer Scheme project, South Holland District Council and our supply chain partners we have achieved just that.

“The cycle track provides a great facility for all of the community and will help ensure that children can learn to ride their bikes and grow their confidence in a safe environment.”

Fancy helping your community?

It couldn’t be easier to get your ideas about how to spruce up where you live listened to by LCC.

Go to your local county councillor (you can find out who that is here) and tell them what you think could be done as a small-scale scheme in your area.

They’ll listen to your idea, have a look, and present it for possible inclusion in the Councillor Volunteer Scheme.

Published: 15th September 2023