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Agenda Item No.

 

THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL

 

COMMUNITY LIAISON COMMITTEE: 26TH JANUARY,. 2016

 

REFERENCE FROM SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT): 3RD NOVEMBER, 2015

 

 

“562    PLAY - INITIATIVES AND UPDATE (DEH) -

 

Committee was updated on the various play initiatives that had occurred in the school summer holidays together with an update on the Play Sufficiency Audit requirements.  The Sports Play and Development Manager, in presenting the report, advised that the Council’s Play Service provided a comprehensive range of play activities to young residents of the Vale of Glamorgan mostly during school holidays.  The award winning service had also built up an excellent reputation for its inclusion work as well as delivery of quality play opportunities. 

 

A significant amount of work had been centred on the school summer holidays and for summer 2015 the service had worked in partnership with Town and Community Councils following approval from Cabinet to seek external funding to operate play schemes and Play Ranger sessions as well as other new funding opportunities.  A report detailing the activities operated across the Vale of Glamorgan during the 2015 school summer holidays was attached at Appendix A to the report.

 

The report outlined the various successes and partnerships that had been developed in terms of funding and that given the success in attracting partnership funding it was proposed to continue with the strategy for the following year.  It was however highlighted that, whilst approximately £9,000 was given by Town and Community Councils to support Play Schemes, the cost of providing play provision still required additional funding to run the comprehensive scheme provided.  Section 106 monies, Families First Disability Strand funding and a contribution from Communities First and United Welsh Housing all assisted in enabling the schemes to be delivered.

 

The main requirements placed upon the Council  by the Welsh Government in terms of the new statutory play duties were to assess the sufficiency of play opportunities in the area and so far as reasonably practicable to secure sufficient play opportunities having regard to the assessments and to publish the opportunities available.  By 31st March, 2016 there was a requirement to complete a comprehensive Play Sufficiency audit and devise an accompanying action plan. 

 

In addition to the above, the Sports and Play Development Team had also delivered play activities at a number of Council organised events working in partnership with internal departments such as the Events Team, Housing department, Young Carers Team, the Foster Care and Adoption Team in Social Services and Ysgol Y Deri.  Other activities had also been delivered at external events such as the Vale Show and Family Fun Days funded by Town and Community Councils.   As well as providing quality play opportunities these events also promote family activity and provide an opportunity to promote the main activities of the play service.  They had also provided funding to support additional play opportunities as a recharge can often be made for the services provided. 

 

Of note was the fact that without the ability to attract funding from sources such as Town and Community Councils, other organisations, Section 106 agreements etc., the present levels of play opportunities could not be maintained.  The play budget required constant monitoring to ensure that funding is obtained to enable the service to be maintained at the current levels.  The Council’s statutory duties in relation to play provision were set out in the body of the report, it being noted that if Town and Community Councils responded favourably to invitations to fund play provision it would be necessary to agree and enter into appropriate forms of agreement.

 

The report further highlighted that the play schemes had been very well attended with 661 registrations across 16 days of play schemes with 32 play scheme sessions taking place across five venues accruing 1,895 participations by children aged 4 - 11 years.  42 disabled children had also been linked to the play scheme sessions by the Play Development Team.  A partnership had been formed with Dinas Powys Community Council, Penarth Town Council, United Welsh Housing and Communities First who had financially supported the delivery of the summer play schemes in their areas.  Feedback from the play schemes had been fantastic and a sample of the feedback information received from parents, carers and children was included within the report.  A partnership had also been created with Morrisons, Barry, who had provided free food for the duration of the schemes.  A number of the children had commented they had “never tried some of the fruit before and would love to continue to eat them in the future”.  It was therefore hoped that the introduction of these schemes would encourage healthy eating amongst the children in the future. 

 

With regard to the Play Ranger Project, this was aimed at 5 - 11 year olds and had been developed to support children and parents to play outdoors.  146 children had registered with the Play Ranger scheme with 62 children registered for the six sessions and Wick Pavilion which had been financially supported by Wick Community Council.  Representatives from Wick Community Council also joined in the fun with the children at every session.  19 children had attended the St. David’s Crescent, Penarth project, financially supported by Penarth Town Council whilst 35 children attended two sessions delivered at ‘The Dump’, Salisbury Road, Barry which had been delivered through Section 106 funding.  A further 30 children had attended the four Dyffryn Court Play Area sessions and these had been financially supported by Llantwit Major Town Council. 

 

In conclusion the report highlighted that a successful events programme had been delivered by the Sport and Play Development Team which had been attended by in excess of 2,000 people. 

 

The Cabinet Member, with permission to speak, commented on the enthusiasm of the officers and the magnificent achievements that had been made to date.  He took the opportunity to ask all Members who were ‘twin hatted’ Members (i.e. Members of both the Vale Council and local Town and Community Councils) to urge their Community Councils to support the initiatives as they provided excellent opportunities for children and residents within the Vale.  Members, in echoing the sentiments of the Cabinet Member, subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1)       T H A T the Sports and Play Development Manager on behalf of the Scrutiny Committee thank all the staff, volunteers etc. involved in the initiatives for their hard work and dedication to the service.

 

(2)       T H A T the contents of the report on the summer play schemes be noted.

 

(3)       T H A T the report be referred to the next Community Liaison Committee for their information.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       In recognition of the work undertaken.

 

(2)       To note the work completed over the summer period.

 

(3)       To apprise the Community Liaison Committee on the potential of future play opportunities.”

 

 

 

 

Attached at Appendix - Report to Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) - 3rd November, 2015

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