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Agenda Item No. 6

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment): 3 November, 2015

 

Report of the Director of Environment and Housing Services

 

Play - Initiatives and update

 

Purpose of the Report

  1. To update Committee on various Play initiatives that occurred in the school summer holidays, provide an update on the Play Sufficiency audit requirements and seek the Committee's views on the continuation of the funding strategy adopted for play.

Recommendations

  1. That the report on the summer play schemes be noted.
  2. That the report be referred to the next Community Liaison Committee for information.

Reasons for the Recommendations

  1. To note the work completed over the summer period.
  2. To keep the Community Liaison Committee informed on the potential for future Play opportunities.

Background

  1. The Council's Play service provides a comprehensive range of play activities to young residents of the Vale of Glamorgan throughout the year. The award winning service has built up an excellent reputation for its inclusion work as well as delivery of quality play opportunities. A significant amount of work is centred on the school summer holidays. For summer 2015 the service has looked to work in partnership with Town and Community Councils following approval from Cabinet to seek external funding to operate playschemes and play ranger sessions, as well as other new funding opportunities.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. Play schemes and Play Ranger sessions were operated across the Vale of Glamorgan during the 2015 school summer holidays. A report detailing the activities is attached at Appendix 'A'.
  2. Committee will note the various successes and partnerships developed in terms of funding. Given the success in attracting partnership funding it is proposed to continue with the strategy for next year. It should however be noted 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.
  3. The main requirements placed upon the Council by the Welsh Government in terms of the new statutory play duties are 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 the 31st March 2016 there is a requirement to complete a comprehensive Play Sufficiency audit and devise an accompanying action plan. Officers are currently working on this and an update on this work will be given at the Committee meeting.
  4. In addition to the above, the Sports & Play Development Team has 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. . In addition to this they have delivered activities at external events such as the Vale Show and Family Fun Days funded by Town & 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 have also provided funding to support additional play opportunities as a recharge can often be made for the services provided.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. Funding for Play continues to be a challenge. The support from Town and Community Councils is much welcomed, as is the other funding streams that the service has been able to attract. Whilst funding is identified for the Play sufficiency audit, work is on-going to assess the current financial position of the playscheme provision. 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 will require constant monitoring in future to ensure that funding is obtained to enable the service to be maintained at current levels.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. There are none associated with this report, although the provision of Play within community areas help to foster sustainable communities.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. The Council's statutory duties in relation to play provision are set out in the body of the report. If Town and Community Councils respond favourably to invitations to fund play provision, it will be necessary to agree and enter into appropriate forms of agreements.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. Quality leisure opportunities are proven to have a positive effect on crime and disorder.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. There are no new equal opportunity implications arising from this report, although the delivery of Play opportunities within communities are provided in an inclusive manner.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. Play is a discretionary service operated by the Council for the benefit of residents.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. The issues arising in this report are Vale-wide and not Ward specific and, therefore, no Ward Member consultation has taken place.

Background Papers

None.

Contact Officer

Dave Knevett - Operational Manager - Leisure Services

Officers Consulted

Head of Finance

Legal Services - Committee Reports

Head of Visible Services and Transport

Children and Young People's Partnership Manager

Director for Children and Young People Services

Director for Learning and Skills

Sport and Play Manager

Operational Manager Development Management

Responsible Officer:

Miles Punter - Director of Environment and Housing Services

 

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