Cllr Angus welcomed the petitioner Ms Montana
White and explained that the process would follow the protocol as
detailed in Appendix 2 of the meeting papers.
Ms White, petitioner, gave a short
introduction to the reasons for submitting a petition about the
children’s play area at West Park. Ms White explained that
she is a member of
Citizen Service and as part of the scheme participants
were asked to undertake work that benefits the local community.
The issue of play provision in West Park was
highlighted as issue for local parents with disabled children who
could not use some of the equipment. Ms White suggested that
parents would like to see changes to the play equipment – for
example, adding back supports to swings to make it more accessible
to more children. In total 113 people signed the petition. The
petition was also posted on social media and has had a lot of
positive responses to the issue highlighted.
Steve Woodward, Head of Public Realm
referred to Appendix 3 in the papers which detailed the Council
response to the issues raised in the petition. The Head of Public
Realm explained that the play area had been partially refurbished
with the aim of making all the equipment as accessible as possible
for a range of children to use. The
Head of Public Realm explained the policy towards the selecting of
play equipment and the consideration given to finding the balancing
to giving children a challenge, and ensuring the Council meets its
responsibilities to make all play equipment compliant with the
Disability Discrimination Act 1995.
The Head of Public Realm explained that the
Council will aim to enhance play provision across the City when
funds allow. Typically play equipment is normally replaced after 15
years of use and decision will be made about either changing or
upgrading the equipment. The Head of Public Realm explained that
the public are consulted about planned changes, for example,
residents were asked for their views about the plans when Ashmore
Park was being refurbished.
The panel queried the provision of play
equipment across the City. The Head of Public Realm responded that
not all parks have the same level of play equipment. The aim of the
service is to a get a blend of play equipment and to refresh
equipment that is safe.
The panel discussed the provision of play
equipment generally and the facilities available in community
centres that disabled children could use as alternative to the
provision in the park.
The Head of Public Realm commented that the
Council will look for possible funding opportunities to meet the
cost of improving play provision. For example, S106 grant funding
has been used to support improvements of play equipment in Ashmore
The panel discussed the Council policy towards
the buying play equipment and how issues such as cost and longevity
are considered. The Head of Public
Realm commented that these issues are considered and also how the
needs of disabled children will be met, ...
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