Play activity in Flintshire
The Council has made a clear commitment to sustaining play activity. At last month's Cabinet, it was reported that almost £900,000 is to be invested over three years to replace play equipment, upgrade play areas and replace the playing surface of synthetic sport pitches.
In addition to that, the Council will continue the revenue match funding of £123,000 for play areas to ensure they are safe and maintained correctly. This funding is being matched by Town and Community Councils to give an investment of approximately £250,000 in local play areas.
In 2016, the Council agreed to provide, for one year only, funding to continue the level of play scheme provision provided in previous years following the withdrawal of Welsh Government funding. As a result, this year's play schemes were funded partly by the County Council with approximately £80,000 and partly by Town and Community Councils.
The Council continues to work with Town and Community Councils to find the best solution to ensure the continuation of future play scheme activity, making the best use of the resources available in this financially challenging environment. The Council's position is to protect the provision of play schemes â€“ many of which are being lost in other parts of Wales through the impacts of enforced budget cuts â€“ because there is high demand for them and clear evidence of the value of play for young people's development.
Leader of the Council, Councillor Aaron Shotton, said
''The Cabinet in January will consider allocating a one off funding amount of £40,000 to continue a level of transitional support to play schemes in 2017/18. We recognise the value of these schemes to local communities and the value they have in inspiring children to play and be creative. Overall in 2017/18 the Council is seeking to support play areas and play schemes by providing additional investment in the region of £1.2 million.'
Flintshire County Council Cabinet Member for Leisure, Councillor Kevin Jones, said:
"Given the requirement of the national Play Sufficiency Assessment and the challenges of providing these type of services in the current climate, it was agreed to re-establish the Flintshire Strategic Play Forum to co-ordinate work across the County. An event to â€˜kick-start' this process was held in November, facilitated by Play Wales and Doctor Stuart Lester with an invitation extended to all community members and officers. The next steps will be to identify a new Chair and Vice Chair for the Forum. All this hard work shows that Flintshire County Council really is committed to sustaining play activity in the County and will work with partners and Town and Community Councils to provide the best possible service for our residents."