Basildon Council has undertaken an assessment of all 143 play areas it looks after within the borough - with the best options for their future to be considered on 10 June.

The Neighbourhoods and Public Spaces Committee will look at a number of possibilities for producing the best play for the borough's children against the cost of care and maintenance, based on the new council assessment.

Chairman of the Neighbourhoods and Public Spaces Committee Cllr David Harrison said: "It's our vision to create a network of well-designed, good quality, inclusive play spaces across the borough.

"Over the last year council officers have been considering each play area according to its size, location, play value for children, and the care and maintenance each requires - a big project to help us understand what's possible.

"The results of the assessment show that while there are a number of play areas situated in locations where there is a history of anti-social behaviour and vandalism, or close to surrounding properties, and we also have some very good quality playgrounds - and we need to figure out what works for families and children best. 

"So, we're going to consider how to create a 10 year programme for investing in play areas within the borough, to try and maximize the intrinsic value of play areas for children." 

The approach will inform the development of the Council's refreshed Play Strategy, and provide a steer as to what further action the council pursues over the next 10 years to help create a network of good quality play areas across the borough.

If the committee approves the report on 10 June, the next phase will involve council officers carrying out a large scale consultation with local communities and Ward Members to get their feedback about how to best look after and maintain play grounds across the borough.

Note to journalists and editors:

There are currently 145 play areas in the Basildon Borough - 128 owned by Basildon Council, 13 owned by Basildon Council's Housing department, 2 owned by Parish Councils and 2 owned by South Anglia Housing.  All of these are maintained by Basildon Council other than the 2 owned by South Anglia Housing which have been excluded from this exercise, bringing the total to 143.

ENDS


Published on Monday 01 June 2020