Ban on food at seafront waterpark criticised
PUBLISHED: 14:00 08 July 2011
PEOPLE picnicking with their families at Weston's seafront waterpark have reacted angrily to not being allowed to take their own food and drink into the amenity, despite paying a new charge.
A £1 entry charge was brought in after the popular Water Adventure Play Park reopened on June 22 after work on a new toilet block was completed.
And despite parents paying the charge, the rules by Weston Town Council say that that any food and drink must be bought from the refreshments kiosk within the park, with one parent told the rule had been brought in to prevent rats and seagulls over-running the facility.
Kate Maccall, from Station Road, Sandford, was told she couldn’t take her home-made food into the park when she visited on Sunday.
She said: “The attendants at the park said that we weren’t allowed to bring our own picnics in, with the reason given being that rats and seagulls could become a problem.
“I really don’t see what difference it will make to whether birds or rats come in whether it’s the food from the kiosk or not.”
The mother of two added: “It’s a shame as I thought it was supposed to attract lots of people in from the area, but now it’s making it difficult for people to come in and enjoy a picnic with their family.”
Jason Adams, of Church Street, Burnham, visited the park on Monday, and said he was surprised to be told he could not take drinks in for his four children.
He said: “The charge to get in is fair enough, but it just seems a bit much when you can’t bring drinks or baby food in for the children – my youngest is 16 months old.
“We came down here to have a bit of a picnic and a nice afternoon in the sun, but it put a bit of a downer on it really.”
The town council’s facilities manager, Patrick Joel, confirmed to the Mercury that water and baby food are both allowed on site, and the correct guidelines may have been ‘lost in translation’ when Mr Adams was prevented from taking baby food on to the site.
He said: “Our policy with regards to the water park is not to allow other food and drink onto the site.
“This is based on the amount of picnic space in the vicinity, and the desirable facility of a catering concession at the water park.
“Clearly picnicking on the site remains commercially interesting and it’s important therefore to protect the interests of the kiosk.”