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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 10/07/2007
Waverley Play Strategy and Big Lottery Fund for Play



APPENDIX F
Waverley Borough Council

EXECUTIVE – 10TH JULY 2007

Title:
WAVERLEY PLAY STRATEGY AND BIG LOTTERY FUND FOR PLAY

[Wards Affected: All]

Summary and purpose:

This report introduces the Waverley Play Strategy and seeks approval for the adoption of the strategy and improvement plan, attached as Annexe 1.
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Environmental implications:

There are no environmental implications arising from this report.

Social / community implications:

Improved Play opportunities will have a positive impact on the social development of children and young people.

E-Government implications:

There are no E-Government implications arising from this report.

Resource and legal implications:

The Big Lottery Fund (BLF) has earmarked an allocation of funding to each local authority area across England. Funding is available for both capital and revenue projects. Waverley as a borough has been allocated a grant of 200,000. To access this grant the Council as the lead body has to make a submission on behalf of communities and organizations across the Borough. Any application to the BLF must be accompanied by a Play Strategy, which is adopted by the Local Authority. The Strategy being presented today incorporates elements, which will form part of the BLF application for funding.

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Introduction

1. Play has been recognised as being fundamental to children’s social, physical, intellectual, creative and emotional development, and considered to be the main way in which most children express their impulse to explore, experiment and understand.

2. There is a wide range of play definitions. Getting Serious About Play (2004) uses the straightforward description of play as: ‘What children and young people do when they follow their own ideas and interests in their own way and for their own reasons’.

3. The Play Strategy aims to enhance and develop play opportunities in their widest sense within Waverley. The Strategy looks at the current play provision and seeks to identify areas where play opportunities are limited and identify how they can be improved and developed.

4. The Strategy seeks to meet the identified needs of all children and young people within local communities, and acknowledge the needs of groups that have traditionally suffered exclusion including children with disabilities. The Strategy also aims to ensure that that play spaces enhance the quality of the local environment for children and young people.

5. The process for the development of the play strategy required the establishment of a local play steering group, facilitated by the local authority. The Steering Group includes representatives from; the town and parish councils, voluntary play organisations, Disability Challenges (a charitable organisation that provides play and leisure activities for children and young people with disabilities), representatives from Waverley Borough Council planning, housing and countryside services, Surrey County Council’s Early Years Service and various local play organisations.

6. The Steering group will be responsible for monitoring the implementation of the action plan and will play a pivotal role in securing other sources of funding in addition to the BLF grant to contribute to the implementation of key priorities within the Strategy.

Every Child Matters: Change for Children

7. The Governments document Every Child Matters; Change for Children (December 2004) indicates the national and local priorities for children’s services. It sets out an outcomes framework, which includes the five outcomes for children and young people, which are:


8. The Play Strategy is linked with a number of local strategies, Waverley’s Cultural Strategy and Community Strategy and therefore reflects existing local priorities.

Main Issues

Strategic Approach to Play

9. Having a Play Strategy will bring many benefits to the children, families and communities of Waverley. The Strategy will recognise the importance of play and acknowledge the issues children and families face regarding accessing good quality play opportunities.

10. The Strategy will result in a more strategic and planned approach to the development and enhancement of play opportunities within Waverley and provide safe environments that children and families can enjoy within their local communities.

11. The Strategy will also seek to support existing local play providers, with their development within the local communities, as well as identifying new opportunities.

12. Every Child Matters: Change for Children states that ‘enjoyment’ with ‘achievement’ is a key outcome for children and young people, and play is seen as a major part of the duty to provide recreation. It is therefore recommended that a play strategy is the best way to ensure that the objective of enjoyment (play and recreation) is realised for children and young people.

Big Lottery Fund: Children’s Play

13. Under the new Big Lottery Fund (BLF) initiative 155million has been ring fenced for children’s play with a total of 124 million available to second tier local authority areas. Within this scheme the amount of funding available to the Waverley Borough Council will be 200,000, which we as a borough will be able to bid for on behalf of our communities and in partnership with local organisations.

14. Applications for funding must be made by a play partnership and officers are recommending that in Waverley the Play Strategy Steering Group referred to above continues to act as a play partnership, facilitated by the Community Development Officer for Youth.

15. Local authorities will be invited to submit their adopted Play Strategy with a portfolio of project proposals as a basis for their application, which clearly reflects the joint interests of the wider play partnership.

16. In developing this Strategy we have followed guidance on the preparation of play strategies, which involved a lengthy process of consultation with a range of stakeholders, this included several consultation exercises with local children and families. The process has resulted in a robust strategy tailored to local need that will meet the criteria when bidding for funding from the Big Lottery Fund.

Play Strategy Steering Group

17. The Waverley Play Strategy was presented to the Play Strategy Steering Group on 23rd May 2007. The group resolved to approve the Play Strategy and the associated action plan.

18. The formation of the Play Steering Group provides a new opportunity for the Council to facilitate new partnership working to promote play and to improve facilities across the borough.


Conclusion

19. The Strategy incorporates priority areas for play development and the action plan identified initiatives to deliver the strategic aims of the strategy some of which will be funded through both BLF, in addition to external grants. The Council through Section 106 developer contributions linked to planning approvals will also be in a position to fund new capital schemes.

20. In order to apply for the funding it is a requisite that the BLF application is accompanied by a play strategy, which has been officially adopted by the local authority. Officers are therefore recommending that the Council adopt the Waverley Play Strategy.

Recommendation

That the Executive:-


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Background Papers (D of E&L)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.
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CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Katie Webb Telephone: 01483 523340

E-mail: kwebb@waverley.gov.uk



comms\executive\2007-08\047.doc