Is this the END of play funding?
Date: 21 January 2011
The Government has said there are currently no plans to create new capital expenditure funding to replace Labour’s successful Playbuilder/Pathfinder schemes to create new parks in the UK.
In response to the parliamentary question by Mr Chuka Umunna, Labour MP for Streatham, about the future of play provision Sarah Teather, Minister for Children and Families said: ‘The Department has no plans in the next spending review period to fund a central capital programme dedicated to improving play facilities. It will be for each local authority, with its local partners, to determine its own local priorities.’
Adam Steiner, Public Development Officer for the Association of Play industries, said: ‘There is a lack of provision and guidance in the Localism bill as to how communities and local authorities are expected to deliver these new play parks with such limited financial resources. It’s my view that Localism does not give the Big Society sufficient power and autonomy that it deserves.’
Building on the success of Playbuilder…
The government has repeatedly praised the good work done by the Playbuilder/Pathfinder funding programmes which are set to end March 2011 but it has been a rocky road to ensure they lasted this long. After another government U-turn by Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education, the decision was made to grant the remaining Playbuilder funds to local authorities, albeit in a de-ringfenced format, after protests from parents and children’s groups. Several councils have re-routed some of their Playbuilder money to other projects causing many park schemes to be abandoned.
John Croasdale, Chairman of the API, said: ‘To help communities get new play projects off the ground the API offers advice about local authority funding streams to ensure there are always places for children to play. Many of our association members already offer their own project guidance services to help third sector groups from start to finish.’
Streatham MP hits out at park funding loss
The Association of Play Industries (API) www.api-play.org is the lead trade body within the play sector, representing the interests of the manufacturers, installers, designers and distributors of both outdoor and indoor play equipment and safer surfacing. Founded in 1984 it represents approximately 85% of the market with more than 80 members.
he Hansard transcript of the above Parliamentary questions and answers can be found at www.theyworkforyou.co.uk
The API operates under the umbrella of the Federation of Sports and Play Associations (FSPA) the national trade body responsible for representing 17 Associations in the UK’s sport and play industries. www.sportsandplay.com