Foreword by Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London VI

НазваниеForeword by Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London VI
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RoSPA Play Safety

The Old Village Hall

Kingston Lisle Business Centre

Wantage, Oxon OX12 9QX

01367 820 9889

Sport England

3rd Floor, Victoria House

Bloomsbury Square
London WC1B 4SE

020 7273 1500

Relevant government departments

Department of Culture, Media and Sport

2–4 Cockspur Street

London SW1Y 5DH

020 7211 6200

Department for Education and Skills

Caxton House, Tothill Street

London SW1H 9FN

0870 000 2288

Office of the Deputy Prime Minister

26 Whitehall, London

020 7944 4400

Appendix F

Report on consultation

The consultation on the draft Guide to Preparing Play Strategies took place between 3 August and 12 November 2004. The views of organisations, individuals and children and young people were actively sought.

Prepared in partnership with London Play, in close consultation with the play sector in London, the draft guide was launched by the Mayor at Playday 2004, a major event in Trafalgar Square attended by an estimated 15,000 children, parents and carers. It was posted on the Mayor’s website and circulated to the London boroughs and other key stakeholders, both organisations and individuals, with an interest in children’s play and other children’s issues. Respondents were asked to consider some key questions (below) about the guide’s suitability for its purpose.

Two pilot studies of the work to prepare local play strategies, using the draft guide as a resource, were carried out in the London Boroughs of Tower Hamlets and Sutton.

There were two stakeholder events: at City Hall on 27 September 2004, and at the Resource Centre, Holloway Road on 1 November 2004. The purpose of these events was to highlight gaps, refine proposals and identify key areas where the guide could better assist the boroughs to improve children’s opportunities for play.

The events were attended by 78 respondents. At each event presentations were made of the guide’s structure, principles, methodology and context, and the case studies in Tower Hamlets and Sutton were presented. Each event contained discussion groups for participants to comment on the guide and the issues it raises. These discussions were recorded. Children and young people were consulted about play in London at the Playday event and their views were recorded.

Children’s views

Children were asked to give three pieces of advice to someone who was trying to make London a better place for children to play. Here are some of the responses:

• Make sure there’s at least one park in every estate. Make it safe.

• Keep London tidy.

• To make big toys cheap.

• Make streets where children can play.

• Free access to leisure centres.

• Better football grounds, swings and playgrounds.

• More activities after school. Closer activities to school. New things like different playgrounds.

• More ramps and pools.

• More parks, fewer cars.

• Larger play areas.

• No bad people, more parks.

• More benches to hang out with my friends.

In addition to the children’s responses, and the stakeholder events, there were 13 written responses to the draft guide from organisations and individuals as follows:

• Association of London Government

• CABE Space

• Groundwork UK


• Learning through Landscapes

• LB Hounslow

• LB Islington

• LB Sutton

• London Parks and Green Spaces Forum

• Melian Mansfield

• Merton Voluntary Service Council

• National Playing Fields Association


The responses

There was strong support for the guide, with written and verbal respondents generally welcoming the purpose, structure, scope and methodology of the document. A selection of comments appears below.

‘The ALG (having taken views from the boroughs) very much welcomes the [document]... it is well-researched and provides boroughs with a clear and detailed guide’ – Association of London Government

‘[we] support this document... a very positive addition to the existing suite of guidance that sits within local and regional policy and strategy frameworks; a comprehensive treatment of a range of diverse issues... well-considered and pitched at a suitable level’ – CABE Space

‘well-informed, clear and readily understood; soundly researched and suitably referenced’ – National Playing Fields Association

‘we welcome the guide and support the importance that it seeks to place on the role of play...’ – LB Islington, Planning Department

‘a good workmanlike document covering the bases and marshalling the evidence...’ – PLAYLINK

‘ excellent guide... [we] congratulate your team for putting it together’ – London Parks and Green Spaces Forum

‘The council welcomes the guide and is looking forward to developing a cross-cutting play strategy’ – LB Hounslow

‘we welcome the guide and appreciate the fact that it has been developed in partnership with London Play, thus recognising the input of professionals from this field’ – LB Sutton

‘a key document... to emphasise the importance of high quality play areas for the regeneration of London’ – Groundwork UK (London Region)

Key questions

Respondents were asked to consider some key questions in their responses:

The guide encompasses the public realm, open space and dedicated play space: is this approach correct?

Respondents agreed with this approach, wanting the guide to cover all play opportunities for children, from registered childcare provision to unsupervised play space and the public realm.

Should the guide be more prescriptive, eg on minimum standards
or criteria?

A number of respondents recommended the production of regional benchmark standards in this area. The Children’s Play Council has expressed an interest in contributing.

Are the definitions of play correct?

Respondents agreed with the definitions used but suggested that a definition of inclusive play provision be inserted.

Is the typology for play space acceptable and useful?

The majority of respondents found the typology helpful and particularly welcomed the two-tier approach.

Is the positioning of the play strategy under the open space
strategy helpful?

There were different views expressed here. Some respondents found the positioning helpful while others suggested that the draft guide emphasised the spatial aspects of a play strategy at the expense of highlighting the importance of a cross-cutting approach and the coverage of issues about supervised provision. Some respondents felt that the position of the play strategy – and which department would take the lead role – would be decided locally.

Is the cross-cutting approach right, and is it feasible?

The majority of respondents welcomed the guide’s emphasis on the cross-cutting approach and the importance of ensuring that play strategies influence other strategies such as the new Children and Young People’s Strategy and the Community Strategy. All felt it was essential for the play strategy to be cross-departmental.

What is the best/most practical way to co-ordinate and monitor information about play?

Some respondents proposed the development of benchmarks against which information could be collated, monitored and evaluated.

What are the barriers to developing local play strategies?

Many respondents felt that a lack of adequate resources, leading to the lack of a clear departmental lead, would be the main barrier.

Comments and suggestions

Suggestions for additions and improvements were for:

• more about the importance of innovative design aspects of play spaces and play equipment, expounding on the use of imaginative features – with children and young people being involved as much as possible – to build in risk and challenge at a design stage without compromising safety

• a clearer link with local strategic partnerships, community and regeneration strategies and a greater emphasis on the need for clear departmental responsibility for leading on the play strategy

• a stress on the need for a lead officer in the preparation of a play strategy

• greater emphasis on the need to develop a programme of activities and projects that engage children and young people and provide an element of support and supervision

• highlighting the new statutory status of recreation in Every Child Matters in order that it ‘not be sidelined by other priorities’

• more discussion of the issues for older children

• a greater emphasis on inclusive play throughout the guide

• more guidance on play in schools and on improving school grounds

• an alternative concept of play space that doesn’t ‘trap play within designated play areas... home to various types of equipment’

• the need for a clearer and more illustrative exposition of what constitutes good play provision, emphasising the need to break out of the stereotype of swings and roundabouts and other fixed equipment which ‘is neither necessary nor sufficient to create a quality play environment’

• a more balanced coverage of the areas to be covered by play strategies, other than play space issues.
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