Foreword by Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London VI

НазваниеForeword by Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London VI
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Part 3 – Implementation

7 making the play strategy happen

Policies for play

7.1 The development plan should contain policies regarding the protection of play space, how to address deficiencies, the enhancement of existing provision and the creation of new open space. The emphasis should be on the achievement of improvements in the quantity and quality of play space, with clear policies relating to implementation. Local boroughs’ urban designers should work in partnership with play professionals in implementing material changes.

Depending on the results of the earlier stages, policy themes
could include:

• protection and enhancement of play space using appropriate designations

• improved access to and linkages between play space, other open space, residential streets and other routes used by children

• more and better recruitment and retention policies for playworkers, including training and development

• improving the quality and safety of existing provision and creating new play spaces

• promotion of inclusive provision for disabled children, children from minority ethnic communities, girls and young women and those at risk of social exclusion

• addressing deficiencies

• improved signage, marketing and communications

• adoption of quality assurance for supervised play provision

• the use of vacant land as temporary play space

• the use of Section 106 agreements to address deficiencies and improve the quality of play space.

7.2 Local Development Frameworks should identify how the need to protect and develop play space is met. Their Statements of Community Involvement should specify the role of the community play sector. Development plans should identify all open space in the borough that is to be protected, including play space. Consideration should be given to the identification of standards for play space in new developments.

Development briefs/frameworks/master plans

7.3 The preparation of development briefs or guidelines in respect of major development sites can provide an effective mechanism for securing new open space provision and improving the quality and facilities of existing open space. These measures should include play spaces, covering issues such as safety, accessible design, lighting and staffing. Refer to the OSS guide for more information.

External funding

7.4 The OSS will provide the detailed framework for supporting funding applications and implementing the action plan. There are a number of external sources of funding that are available for the creation and improvement of open space. It is more difficult to attract revenue funding than capital funding, often resulting in the deterioration of open spaces despite good initial investment.

7.5 Potential external funding sources for parks and green spaces developments are set out in Claiming Your Share, a guide to external funding for parks and green space community groups, published by Green Space (2004). This extremely helpful guide also sets out guidance for developing a fundraising strategy.

7.6 There may also be opportunities for the joint funding of initiatives with other agencies and organisations. Voluntary organisations and charitable trusts have an important role to play in open space provision and management and the various guides to charitable trusts published annually by the Directory of Social Change are useful sources of information.

Government funding

7.7 Many government initiatives are supported by dedicated funding that can also be used to develop outdoor play space. These include Neighbourhood Renewal Strategies and the Children’s Fund.

7.8 The website contains up-to-date information on funding from four key central government departments. It is an online portal to grants for the voluntary and community sector from:

• the Department for Education and Skills

• the Department of Health

• the Home Office

• the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

It is possible to search the site for suitable grants and download application forms and guidelines. Users can also register to receive grant updates by email.

National Lottery

7.9 The National Lottery is currently the largest funder of voluntary and community activity and the Big Lottery Fund announced in spring 2005 a play programme for England worth £155 million, to be based broadly on the recommendations of the Play Review (2004). In 2004 it also launched the Young People’s Fund, which may be a source of funding for some play and recreation projects. (

7.10 New initiatives are being announced regularly and it will be essential to keep up to date with changes in funding opportunities, criteria for eligibility and potential partnerships. London Play’s website,, contains regularly updated funding information of particular relevance to the play sector in London.

Key recommendations of the Play Review, 2004

Getting Serious About Play, the report of a major national play review, chaired by Frank Dobson MP, sets out how best to invest the £200 million lottery fund pledged in 2001, for improving children’s play opportunities. It recommends that:

• funding should be focused on areas and groups with the poorest access to good quality play opportunities, with a major emphasis on the inclusion of disabled children and young people

• long-term popularity with children and young people is the main test of success

• the main emphasis should be on projects with medium or small catchment areas. Access should be free

• play opportunities with some form of adult supervision or adult oversight are likely to prove more successful

• the local authority or a local partnership should be responsible for drawing up proposals for the use of the funds allocated to their area which add to existing provision and reflect the priorities set out above. Their proposals must be prepared in partnership with other local agencies, children and young people and local communities

• local agencies will be expected to fund the consultation and preparation of plans from their own resources. However, the distributor, government and local agencies should work together to ensure that all areas, especially the most deprived communities, have the necessary support to prepare sound, high-quality proposals and to implement them

• where possible, local proposals should try to maximise the impact of lottery funding by complementing and augmenting it with funds from other sources

• out-of-hours use of school grounds and buildings should be promoted, most especially when schools are being built or refurbished

• local authorities should take the opportunity provided by the programme to improve the planning and operation of play facilities across their area. They should designate a ‘play champion’ to carry out this task and to help ensure the success of the lottery funded projects.

Getting Serious About Play, a review of children’s play,
Frank Dobson MP, Chair, 2004

Developers’ agreements

7.11 Planning conditions, local area agreements and Section 106 ‘planning gain’ agreements can be used to address identified quantitative and qualitative deficiencies in provision or where new development would increase the need for local provision. Agreements can secure both capital and revenue funding to provide for the future maintenance of open space. Boroughs should develop a broad strategy for the use and negotiation of Section 106 agreements. Again, refer to the OSS guide for more information.

Community and partnership working

7.12 The creation of partnerships and increased community involvement in the use and management of facilities can assist in project implementation. Supporting local community organisations may lead both to an increase in playwork schemes and a greater feeling of ownership of their children’s play opportunities by local people.

7.13 Maximum use should be made of existing community resources, such as play associations, in the design, implementation, monitoring and operating phases of all forms of play development. Where there is no play association, community organisations with experience of consulting and working with children and young people should be involved wherever possible.

Options for the Play Strategy Action Plan

a Traffic calming and Home Zone schemes

These may reduce barriers to local provision and/or increase the distances children are allowed to travel unaccompanied. In this way, accessible provision can be increased without any actual increase in provision.

b Opening up sightlines

Judicious thinning and pruning of hedges or replacing fencing with see-through fencing may assist children to feel more secure in playgrounds and also to reduce vandalism and thereby improve usage.

c Increasing supervised provision

Where there is an under-provision of open play space and limited opportunities for creating it, priority might be given to developing supervised provision, such as adventure playgrounds and playschemes. These should be staffed by qualified playworkers.

d Resiting playgrounds

When playgrounds are refurbished, re-siting them so that they are nearer to housing, or changing the access points, so that travel distances are decreased, may widen catchment and improve usage.

e Inspection and maintenance

Reviewing procedures to ensure that adequate maintenance and replacement schedules are built into any improved or new provision can significantly improve efficiency and release resources for park ranger-type schemes, which can take a much more positive approach to promoting play.

f Play value assessments

These can be used to assess whether current provision gives value for money and improvements can be made to ensure opportunities for a wider age or ability range of children.

g Inclusion strategies

Inclusion strategies can be developed to ensure the fullest use of provision by the widest possible range of children and young people. Kidsactive has a range of resources, including literature, training courses and seminars on inclusive play.

h Involvement strategies

Maintaining and developing the level of involvement of children and young people in their own play space can be a vital factor in ensuring its sustainability. A strategy for this should be a key element of the play strategy.

i Mediation strategies

These can be used to reduce fears and conflict and ensure that children who are just ‘being children’ rather than ‘a nuisance’ are enabled to play within their own neighbourhood.

j Housing developments

Children only make limited use of back gardens for play. A greater provision of communal open space will therefore give more benefit for children’s play than back gardens.

k Poorly-used playgrounds

Where the location of a play facility means that it is poorly used and this is unlikely to change, permitting development on this site but replacing with the same, or better, in a more appropriate location, could be considered.

l Safe routes to school and play and spaces

Much children’s play occurs in transit and regular journeys can provide opportunities for physical and social activity if the routes are designed or modified with children’s play needs in mind. This measure can have the added benefit of reducing car use.

m Protecting and making better use of school grounds

Children need access to play space during the school day, especially at lunch-time. Schools can be encouraged to develop play polices (see paragraph 3.2) and to design school grounds so as to be more suitable for a range of outdoor play activities.

7.14 Implementing a strategy can potentially provide training opportunities associated with playwork, the management and maintenance of play spaces, and the involvement of children and young people.

Involving children and young people

7.15 There is a vast range of methods that can be used to engage children and young people – and their parents and carers – in planning, designing, creating, maintaining and managing play spaces. It is important to adapt the techniques to the needs and aspirations of the different preferences, backgrounds and ages of the young community in question. Techniques range from Planning (or Playing) for Real exercises (see page 44) to less resource-intensive techniques such as informal surveys and interviews. Several techniques should normally be used to ensure a wide range of young people have an opportunity to participate.

7.16 Artwork, logo design and playground naming competitions are all good ways to stimulate creative thinking and to generate interest and ownership with children and young people. Art workshops engage them in designing and constructing artwork to improve their local environments. Community arts projects are particularly useful with young people to enable them to express their creativity, build confidence, develop skills, and develop a sense of identity and community pride.

7.17 It is critical that the techniques for promoting community and young people’s involvement are understood to be part of a fuller process of meaningful community engagement. Applying techniques in isolation can raise unrealistic expectations. In addition, the post-consultation process is essential in order to analyse the results of a community involvement process, to generate options and to work with communities to prioritise and agree preferences.

7.18 CABE Space has produced a good practice guide to involving children and young people in the design, development and continuing management of public urban spaces (April 2004). This can be downloaded from Some of the key points from its good practice examples are set out on page 61.

Involving children and young people in design and
care for their space

A good practice guide by CABE Space offered some key points:

• Playworkers can encourage and support all children who use a play space to get involved in the design process.

• Links should be made with disabled children and their carers,
and the space developed with their views and needs in mind.

• Trips to different play and public spaces can help young
people to develop ideas.

• Giving young people support for decisions, and enabling them to present projects externally, engenders creativity and responsibility.

• Using models helps children to understand designs and allows
them to comment and suggest changes.

• Young people, especially from ethnic minorities, can be unwittingly stereotyped, for example being seen as anti-social. Only contact
and continuing dialogue will realise genuine relationships.

• Physical regeneration can provide a starting point for
continuing participation.

• Playworkers provide a high level of maintenance and help to create
a safe and secure atmosphere for children and young people.

• Building on existing networks can be effective in involving
young people.

• The political will to involve them can be critical to creating a
dialogue between the council and young people.

• Young people and designers working together can create a
better space than either could on their own.

Adapted from What would you do with this space?, CABE Space, 2004

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