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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 3rd December 2012

Report of the Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks, Culture and Sports Development

Play Sufficiency Audit

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         The purpose of this report is to inform the Cabinet of the duties placed on Local Authorities by Welsh Government in relation to Play and the requirement for the Vale of Glamorgan Council to carry out a Play Sufficiency Audit in 2012 / 2013 in accordance with the Children's & Families (Wales) Measure 2010.

Recommendations

1.         That the duty placed on the Vale of Glamorgan Council in relation to play is acknowledged and the completion of a Play Sufficiency Audit and action plan be endorsed.

2.         That the completed Play Sufficiency Audit and Draft Action Plan be reported to the Economy and Environment Scrutiny Committee and a subsequent Cabinet in due course.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To ensure that the Vale Council meets its duties in relation to the provision of play opportunities as set out by Welsh Government.

2.         To provide more information on a Play Sufficiency Audit and Action Plan for the Vale of Glamorgan.

Background

2.         The Welsh Government places great value on play and its importance in the lives of children in our society. They wish to create an environment in Wales where children have excellent opportunities to play and enjoy their leisure time. To achieve this they have included consideration of play within its policy development and they are now placing a duty on Local Authorities to do the same.

3.         The duty requires Local Authorities to assess for and with regard to that assessment, secure sufficient play opportunities for children in their area, so far as reasonably practicable and in accordance with Welsh Government regulations. The Local Authority must also publish information about play opportunities in the area and keep this information up to date. In regard to performing this duty, the Local Authority must have regard (among other things) for the needs of disabled children and the needs of children of different ages.

 

Relevant Issues and Options

4.         It is intended that the statutory duty on Local Authorities to provide sufficient play opportunities will be embedded within the Single Integrated Plan.

5.         To assist the Local Authority in assessing play needs, the Welsh Government will provide the Vale of Glamorgan Council with £21,622 to undertake a Play Sufficiency Audit and draw up a play action plan based on the gaps and needs identified within the Play Sufficiency Audit. The Local Authority must complete the assessment of play opportunities by 1st March 2013.

6.         Local Authorities are required to produce a Single Integrated Plan for play by 1st March 2013. The Play Sufficiency Assessment must provide the evidence necessary to ensure that the Vale comply with the duty of section 11(3) of the Measure, that it secures sufficient play opportunities for children in the area, so far as reasonably practicable. The Audit must also contribute to the overall needs assessment and the action plan for securing sufficient play opportunities must be incorporated into the Single Integrated Plan. Progress made on securing sufficient play opportunities, as set out in the single integrated plan should be reviewed on an annual basis, with further Play Sufficiency Assessments being carried out every three years.

7.         Welsh Government were to provide Local Authorities with toolkits to assist with undertaking the Play Sufficiency Assessment during the summer period. However there was a delay in the release of these. The Statutory Guidance, the Regulations and the toolkits were released into the public domain on 2nd November, which is the commencement date of the duty.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

8.         The Welsh Government has provided £21,622 to assist with completion of the audit. There will be workload implications, specifically for the Sports & Play Development Manager and the Play Development Officer, both of whom will be leading on the completion of the audit. Where appropriate, additional personnel will be employed to assist with completion of the Audit.

9.         Consideration will need to be given to the practicalities of delivering against the Single Integrated Plan for play given that there is no core funding for play within the Vale of Glamorgan Council budget. The Play Development Officer is currently partly funded to deliver play provision for disabled children through Families First funding and to deliver other project based play provision via other funding streams which will cease on 31st March 2013. 

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

10.      The Council's Sports & Play Development Team is aware of the Council's commitment to sustainability and try to enforce this message when delivering sessions. Encouraging participation in sporting activity can also add to community cohesion whilst at the same time encouraging a wider adoption of healthy lifestyle choices.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

11.      As detailed in the report there is a requirement to complete this work by 31st March 2013.

Crime and Disorder Implications

12.      Quality provision of leisure activities are now proven to assist in reduction of crime and disorder.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

13.      The Council's Play Service is delivered in accordance with the Council's Equal Opportunities policy.

Corporate/Service Objectives

14.      The provision of the services discussed in this report are integral to the Council's health and wellbeing objectives.

Policy Framework and Budget

15.      This report is a matter for executive decision by Cabinet.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

16.      No ward members have been consulted on this report as play is delivered across the whole of the Vale of Glamorgan.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

17.      Economy and Environment

Background Papers

None.

 

Contact Officer

Karen Davies - Sports & Play Development Manager

 

Officers Consulted

Operational Manager, Parks & Grounds Maintenance

Operational Manager Leisure and Tourism

Committee Reports

Head of Finance

Operational Manager, Legal Services

Children & Young People's Partnership Manager

Operational Manager for Planning & Transportation Policy

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas - Director of Development Services

 

 

 

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