Exeter play strategy 15 June 06 by 21D755G9

VIEWS: 1 PAGES: 23

									 Exeter Play Strategy
  ‘Play is freely chosen, personally directed,
intrinsically motivated behaviour that actively
                 engages a child’



                Draft
              June 2006
                A play strategy for Exeter: DRAFT 16 June 06




            Exeter Play Strategy


                         contents

            Executive Summary                                   2
Section 1   Setting the Context
        1   Introduction                                        6
        2   The Purpose of the Strategy                         7
        3   Play: What Is It?                                   8
        4   National Policy in Play                             9
Section 2   Local and National Support Infrastructure
        5   In the City                                        10
        6   Devon and the South West                           11
        7   National Bodies                                    11
Section 3   The Customers Know Best
        8   Consultation with Children & Young People          12
        9   Play Space Design                                  15
Section 4   Priority Issues for Play in Exeter
       10   Managing Risk in Play Provision                    16
       11   Inclusive Play                                     17
       12   Community Control                                  17
       13   Play in Public Spaces                              18
       14   Environmental Play                                 18
       15   Adventure Play                                     18
Section 5   Delivery Structure for Play in Exeter
       16   Exeter City Council                                19
       17   A Play Association for Exeter                      20
       18   A Play Partnership                                 20
Section 6   Recommendations
       19   Recommendations                                    21




                                     2
                                 A play strategy for Exeter: DRAFT 16 June 06




                                           a play strategy for
                                                 exeter
                                            executive summary
1. INTRODUCTION

1.1]      The Exeter Play Association was dissolved as an organisation with charitable status in 2000.
          For 12 years before that, it had gone through many stages of operation and had set in motion
          some significant initiatives.

1.2]      Since that time the different sectors within play have operated more or less separately. The
          City Council with the Scrapstore, RAMM activities, Playdays, sports development programmes
          grants to the voluntary sector to promote play opportunities and a vigorous policy of renewing
          old and creating new play areas for young people from 2 to 18 increased spending on play
          dramatically from the late 90’s. The voluntary sector continued to operate in a climate of little
          funding but increasing regulation, while the County Council was driving ahead with the Every
          Child Matters agenda and Extended Schools. By 2005, following the Dobson Report and the
          announcement of Big Lottery Fund investment in play it was clear that the time was right to
          look again at a structure that would co-ordinate the development of play for children and
          young people in Exeter, and take it to a different level of imagination and creativity.

1.3       Although lack of physical activity has been a hot topic among health and leisure professionals
          for some years, it has only relatively recently become a wider national policy issue. Play is a
          major way for children and young people to experience physical activity, almost without
          noticing it, and it is a vital ingredient for the health of individuals and of the nation for decades
          to come. This is another reason for ensuring that a more consistent approach to play is taken
          by all agencies.
                                                                                                              1
1.4]      Evolving agendas for community involvement in local affairs and control of local services
          were also suggesting that it was time to look again at how play could be developed in Exeter
          led by children and young people, their parents or carers and the members of the
          neighbourhoods in which they live, supported by statutory authorities and other professionals.
          On this basis, the Exeter Play Strategy was produced.

1.5]      The strategy has had wide consultation, with children and young people at the forefront of the
          process. It has also had the benefit of comments by all the major partnership groups in Exeter
          dealing with child and young people’s development and has been six months in development.

2. THE BASIS OF THE STRATEGY

2.1]      The definition of play which is the basis of the Exeter Play Strategy is the Children’s Play
          Council definition:
                  Play is freely chosen, personally directed, intrinsically motivated behaviour that
                  actively engages a child
          However, the Children’s Play Council also describes how:
                   The ‘home’ habitat of a typical 8 year old in the UK today has shrunk to one
                   ninth of 20 years ago



1   Building Civil Renewal – Home Office - 2004
                                                       3
                              A play strategy for Exeter: DRAFT 16 June 06



       Moreover there is also a strong feeling developing that the social pressures of child protection
       policies and the perception of danger outside the home, strongly reinforced by legal, social
       and insurance attitudes to risk, have been allowed to restrict the natural adventurousness
       which led to learning by doing and (sometimes by getting hurt), to go too far, and making play
       a tame and frustrating activity. This strategy is based on the view that there is a need again to
       teach children about risk, about their own limitations and about experimentation. However we
       need to be conscious that there is now a fully functioning framework of European wide
       industry standards around equipment, designed to reduce, if not eradicate, risk.

2.2]   The enrichment of play can only be truly achieved by working in and enhancing and adapting
       the neighbourhood environments and public spaces that children see as their domain. If their
       home habitat is fraught with dangers, [perceived or real] for the under 12’s particularly but also
       older young people, then public policies, which include those for housing, neighbourhood
       design, transport, community safety, environmental protection, education, park and open
       space design have to ensure they are people-friendly, and more particularly child-friendly, at
                                                                      st
       their centre. This, as many people are realising in the 21 century, will benefit society in
       general as well as allowing children to develop independence and the other benefits. One of
       the key outcomes of the strategy is seen to be the promotion of awareness of the needs of
       young people among professionals of all disciplines, rather than their relegation to the small
       corner occupied by play workers or the leisure department. Moreover it will be necessary to
       acknowledge the concerns of those who, often legitimately, see the play spaces and young
       people’s congregating areas as in themselves invitations to anti-social behaviour.

2.3]   Implicit throughout the Strategy is the principle of the inclusiveness of play. Separateness is
       alien to children, but if imposed early becomes part of their cultural view. Disability, ethnicity,
       faith, economic difference; all these are divisive if kept apart from the cultural and economic
       ‘mainstream’, hardly at all if brought together.

2.4]   The other key principle for this Strategy is the central role played by children and young
       people in determining their own play opportunities. the Exeter Play strategy advocates the
       involvement of ‘the customer’ from first ideas to the design stage. Professionals and adults
       within the relevant local communities play a supporting and advisory role, mainly around the
       important area of managing risk. As well as involving planners, social workers, transport
       providers, urban designers and community safety professionals in this process, the strategy
       also sees it as vital that artists and sportspeople are drawn into the design and delivery of play
       installation, activity and planning.

3. CURRENT PLAY OVERVIEW IN EXETER

3.1]   Exeter City Council, through its Leisure and Museum Services, has a fine network of children’s
       playgrounds across the City. (see appendix ?). On the basis that every child in Exeter should
       have the right to easy access to a playground [i.e. not crossing a major road] the network has
       only a few ‘gaps’ to fill. The Council’s investment in play is significant, for on top of the annual
       £100k maintenance of this network, it produces seven Playdays per year in the City’s parks. It
       also runs the Play Resource Centre [Scrapstore], a very popular facility for preschool groups
       in particular which, as part of its programme, also runs play training related to its activities that
       has grown from the enthusiasm of the staff. Provision has broadened over recent years with
       facilities for young people over 12 years, in the shape of skate parks, multi use games areas
       and “teen villages” now available across the city, often designed and built in collaboration with
       the young people themselves

3.2    The City Council also maintains a network of more than 40 parks and public open spaces all
       around the city, together with 6 Valley Parks – essentially small country parks in the heart of
       the city. Beyond the boundaries of Exeter lie thousands of acres of Devon countryside, much
       of it accessible, including specially adapted areas like the Forestry Commission’s new
       woodland facility with its own play trail on Haldon Hill. Children in Exeter also have less
       distance to travel to find excellent beaches and coastlines than most.

3.2]   Further development of these services is being planned for the future. In particular, local
       communities will be encouraged to apply for funding to run their own Playdays, supported by
       professional play and other workers. It is hoped this development will reflect more of the
       cultural differences across the City, something that is currently missing.

                                                    4
                                  A play strategy for Exeter: DRAFT 16 June 06




3.3]       In common with every town and village in the country there is a substantial network of
           playgroups and toddler groups operating in every kind of building. Training and development
           advice is available from the Devon Early Years Development and Childcare Partnership and
           from Playlines. Innovative independent initiatives spring up from time to time. The City
           Council supports many voluntary sector play opportunities through its small grants scheme.

3.4]       This strategy does not on the whole include the work of the Youth Services and the many
           uniformed organisations who are also working with young people in often broadly similar
           settings, on the grounds that play is “personally directed”. While clearly statutory and
           voluntary organisations working in those fields leave room for much activity which can be
           characterised as play, it is not their primary purpose, and a strategy which attempted to bring
           them into the same framework would be a much bigger and more complex document.

3.5]       A list of services, facilities, organisations and activities covered by this strategy is attached as
           Appendix 2

4. AIMS OF THE STRATEGY

          Extend the choice and control that children and young people have over their play, the
           freedom they enjoy and the satisfaction they gain from it
          Recognise the participant’s need to test boundaries and respond positively to that need
          Manage the balance between the need to offer risk and the need to keep children and young
           adults free from harm
          Maximise the range of play opportunities available across the City of Exeter
          Ensure that play is inclusive, regardless of disability, special needs, ethnicity and economic
           circumstance
          Foster independence, self-esteem and respect for others by offering opportunities for social
           interaction
          Foster well-being, healthy growth and development, knowledge and understanding, creativity
           and the capacity to learn in both children and young people
          Build respect and understanding between the generations and seek to manage potential
           conflicts caused by differing perceptions of play
          Promote awareness of the concerns and aspirations of young people relating to play, in the
           policy and practice of public bodies in Exeter



5. PRIORITIES and ACTIONS FOR PLAY IN THE CITY


5.1        The Priorities are to enable more:

              Environmental Play
              Adventure Play
              Neighbourhood Design and Community Control
              Inclusive Play which does not discriminate between disability, special needs, ethnicity,
               economic circumstance, gender or sexuality

5.2        The actions are:

              Draw up a Play Development Portfolio

              The design and management of public play spaces to achieve the priorities

              Managing risk and training others to do so too

              Investigating the use of play rangers and supervisors.

              Building a network of play champions in every organisation which has contact or impact
               on children and families, and ensuring that their policies reflect the needs of children.

                                                        5
                             A play strategy for Exeter: DRAFT 16 June 06




          The agreement of a list of play development projects, some of which will form portfolio of
           schemes to be presented to the Big Lottery Fund.

          Provide a source of clear advice and training on the management of risk in play

          Offer placements for the training of play workers.


6. DELIVERY STRUCTURES


6.1]   To enable the above to happen, the Strategy recommends the following structure for the
       development of play in Exeter:

              The establishment of a new Exeter Play Association to represent the interests of the
               voluntary sector in Exeter, and to work with the local authorities towards the
               implementation of the strategy. The City Council would facilitate this organisation and
               support it until it has the capacity to operate entirely independently

              The formation of an Exeter Play Partnership, to act as a forum where all play issues in
               Exeter can be discussed and addressed. Apart from the City Council and the Exeter
               Play Association membership of the partnership would consist mainly of organisations
               whose primary focus was not play, but which have a strong interest in a city where
               opportunities for play are abundant and diverse, for example the Vision Partnership,
               the Primary Care Trust, the Children’s Trust, various branches of the County Council
               and the City Council etc. .

              As the City’s response to the Government’s neighbourhood initiatives begin to take
               shape, consideration should be given to setting up play co-ordination areas to
               coincide with new neighbourhood and community structures, and working with those
               structures as an organic part of the neighbourhood.

              As part of the portfolio of projects in the Big Lottery scheme, a Play Development
               Worker should be employed to help put in place the above infrastructure in the first
               instance and then work with the Exeter Play Association and a Play Partnership to
               implement the play development plan for Exeter. The play development plan will
               emerge from the audit of need and provision as one of the key actions of the
               partnership.


6.2]   Play Development Portfolio

        The Play Development Portfolio will be the strategy’s action plan. Its elements will be those
       schemes and improvements which arise from the strategic analysis of provision, need and the
       gaps between them. The Play Development Portfolio will consist of two parts: the draft list of
       projects to be considered for the Big Lottery Funding Portfolio, and the Council’s existing
       annual programme of enhancement and renewal.




                                                  6
                              A play strategy for Exeter: DRAFT 16 June 06



       SECTION 1: SETTING THE CONTEXT


1] INTRODUCTION

1.1]   Most of us who were born before the middle of the last century have a concept of childhood
       outside school which is different to that which largely operates today. Many of us, even those
       who lived in towns and cities, were able to roam about and discover life and people for
       ourselves. Woods, old buildings, the street, the park, the pond, the river; all were or could be
       the child’s domain.

       Increasingly after 1970 however a fearsome combination of ever growing traffic, crime and
       perhaps more importantly the fear of crime, electronic leisure, vanishing unused spaces and
       the increasing number of households without a parent at home during the day took its toll on
       that relatively free and self-directed existence. Like most ‘golden eras’ the reality probably
       didn’t quite live up to the legend, but it does seem as if we have lost some of the most
       important aspects of childhood since that time. The tide is turning however and many people
       now recognise how important play is to the development of the adult, in fields as diverse as
       physical activity, academic achievement, mental health and the ability to live in the world as it
       is.

1.2]   In 2005, it came as a shock to learn:


                  The ‘home’ habitat of a typical 8 year old in the UK today has shrunk to one
                                              ninth of 20 years ago

                                                  Children’s Play Council



1.3]   Why this is so is well documented. Society changed in ways which did not take into account
       all the needs of children, not even necessarily their nutritional needs, while at the same time
       they became a market for which products and activities were fabricated. The unfortunate
       combination of powerful leisure attractions, parental anxiety about the outside world and lack
       of time made the traditional option of leaving children to their own devices to play on their own
       increasingly difficult.

1.4]   It is pointless however analysing the changes and their causes: we are where we are. There
       is cause for optimism however: the problems have been recognised right up to government
       level and programmes are being set up to replace some of those lost opportunities. Some will
       argue that the very existence of a Children’s Play Council, and play strategies and
       partnerships is just further evidence of the artificialisation of a natural activity: it may be, but
       without resources and systems to create facilities, structures and activities to meet the real
       needs, the boundaries of play will continue to shrink. The reasons for the decline in free play
       have not gone away, but at least having recognised them, planners, leisure departments,
       Primary Care Trusts, and developers can work together to counteract that decline.

1.5]   Others have said that children have already lost the capacity for play arising from their own
       imaginations and energies. But then we talked to the ‘target group’ and found that of course
       they have what it takes. Inside his or her head today’s child is just the same as that pre-80’s
       child swinging across the river by a rope all day, playing hide and seek throughout the
       neighbourhood. All they want is the opportunity TO DO IT!

1.6]   It will cost money and it will need a culture change from many parents, most public agencies,
       the law enforcement sector and even play workers themselves. It will require an ongoing
       conversation with children and young people, and we have to learn to listen. It will require
       more empowerment and less traditional provision.

1.9]   Can we adults cope? We were all children ourselves, so if we look through their eyes, we
       certainly can.


                                                   7
                                  A play strategy for Exeter: DRAFT 16 June 06



2] THE PURPOSE OF THE PLAY STRATEGY

2.1]       This Play Strategy is not principally aimed at defining the practice and standards of the play
           sector in Exeter. It will of course be crucial to that sector, but if it is to be really effective it
           must be one which brings together all the agencies and bodies whose decisions have an
           impact on the quality and quantity of children’s play, even if they haven’t traditionally been
           aware of that fact. By building partnerships and awareness the strategy should create an
           environment in which its aims can be met. Those aims are to:

          Extend the choice and control that children and young people have over their play, the
           freedom they enjoy and the satisfaction they gain from it

          Recognise the participant’s need to test boundaries and respond positively to that need

          Manage the balance between the need to offer risk and the need to keep children and young
           people free from harm

          Maximise the range of play opportunities available across the City of Exeter

          Ensure that play is inclusive, regardless of disability, special needs, ethnicity and economic
           circumstance

          Foster independence, self-esteem and respect for others by offering opportunities for social
           interaction

          Foster well-being, healthy growth and development, knowledge and understanding, creativity
           and the capacity to learn in both children and young people

          Build respect and understanding between the generations and seek to manage potential
           conflicts caused by differing perceptions of play

          Promote awareness of the concerns and aspirations of young people relating to play? in the
           policy and practice of public bodies in Exeter

2.2]       With the Dobson Report, the Big Lottery Fund play programmes and wider policies such as
           Sure Start and Every Child Matters, recognition of the importance of play and the healthy
           development of children has been achieved at national level. It remains for us to turn these
           national policies into real outcomes in the City of Exeter however. New structures such as
           Children’s Trusts should make dialogue and partnership easier, but we still need to make
           things happen at ground level. Two things are needed: a strong organisation which can
           represent play and provide a place where play professionals can teach, learn and support,
           and a wider forum where that organisation can engage with the other interests whose
           involvement is essential to good play opportunities

2.3]       To ensure these outcomes, helping children to grow up healthy in mind and body, the strategy
           needs to focus on creating some of these same freedoms that many of us took for granted
           when we were children. To do this we have to engage with the issues of

                  neighbourhood design
                  traffic management
                  public open spaces, their design and management
                  supervision for play
                  accepting risk and danger and managing it
                  consultation and partnership with young people themselves
                  the balance of activities and facilities, revenue and capital

           and then ensure that our our play work programmes, investment and maintenance take on
           board that new intensity of activity addressing those issues will require.




                                                        8
                             A play strategy for Exeter: DRAFT 16 June 06



2.4]   the Exeter Play Strategy
       The strategy is aimed at increasing and enhancing play opportunities for children and young
       people aged 0 – 18 years.

3]     PLAY: WHAT IS IT?




               Play is freely chosen, personally directed, intrinsically motivated
                             behaviour that actively engages a child
                                           Children’s Play Council




.

           Play is the space and opportunity to run, climb, skip, hide, play with
           ropes, jump, practise cartwheels, throw and kick balls, make friends,
           fall out, build fires, grow things, tell stories, climb trees, take risks, get
           wet, explore nature, build dens, get dirty, dress up, pretend, keep
           animals, dig holes, swing on tyres, shout, fight, invent games, make
           things, paint pictures, talk with friends, or just sit.

                               Planning for Play, Children’s Play Council, 2006




3.1]   Play itself can be considered from a number of perspectives. It can be seen as an essential
       component of education, or from the health perspective as a mechanism to promote physical
       and mental health. Socially it teaches children how to behave with their peers, how to share
       and work in teams and make their opinions known. It can also be seen as cultural behaviour.
       Perhaps it has been a disadvantage for Play that it is so universally relevant to almost every
       aspect of life: yet it has rarely had a high profile champion, and has never been treated or
       resourced as its importance might suggest. Even Every Child Matters rarely mentions play as
       a specific activity, although play quite clearly contributes to four of its five priority outcomes:
       Be Healthy, Stay Safe, Enjoy and Achieve and Make a Contribution.

3.2]   It is important that local authorities and others avoid the temptation to see children’s play as
       simply a hardware issue. Play provision is essentially about space – which includes
       equipment, but it incorporates so much more than that. Children are sophisticated judges of
       their surroundings and are naturally curious about the places they visit and use, therefore
       design of all aspects of space used by children is an important function of planning, urban
       design, building and landscape design and so on.

3.3]   Buildings that are primarily used by children can and should be designed in a way that
       enables them to have a variety of spatial experiences. The streets, canals and riversides,
       parks and open spaces – as well as designated playgrounds – are places where children must
       be seen, heard and given opportunities to play. This will require giving sensitive attention to,
       for example:

              Street design and landscaping
              Policing and traffic control
              Public art and the possibility of physical engagement with it.


3.4]   This Play Strategy will recognise the wider cultural rights of children and young people and
       look further than swings, slides and roundabouts, valuable though they are to city
       communities.

3.5]   Play allows children to test boundaries and learn about themselves, their peers and the world
       about them. It fosters independence and self-esteem and It fosters children’s respect for
                                                      9
                                  A play strategy for Exeter: DRAFT 16 June 06



         others and offers opportunities for social interaction. It also fosters the child’s physical and
         mental well-being, healthy growth and development, knowledge and understanding, creativity
         and capacity to learn. It can happen everywhere that imagination leads, including streets,
         canals, riversides, parks and open spaces, fields and woods, as well as artificially designed
         play areas.



4]       NATIONAL POLICY IN PLAY, AND ITS EFFECTS, NATIONAL AND LOCAL
                                                                                                 rd
4.1]     The present Government has done a great deal to make children a focus of its 3 term in
         office. The main theme of the reform is to ensure that Children’s Services in England and
         Wales are co-ordinated at all levels of government in order to focus on the individual child and
         his or her needs.

4.2]     The Children’s Act 2004 provides the legislative framework to support this reform of the whole
         system. It outlines new statutory duties and clarifies how the new Children’s Services will work
         and how they are to be accountable. In particular it places a duty to co-operate on all
         statutory bodies.

4.3]     The framework for action is the document ‘Every Child Matters: Change for Children’. This
         sets out programmes of local change in order to build services around the needs of children
         and young people to maximise their opportunities.


     The services that reach every child and young person have a crucial role to play in
     shifting the focus from dealing with the consequences of difficulties in children’s lives to
     preventing things going wrong in the first place. The transformation that we need can
     only be delivered through local leaders working together in strong partnerships with
     local communities on a programme of change.

     ‘Every Child Matters: Change for Children’ 2004



4.4]     The main vehicle for this change at local level are the Children’s Trusts. Their remit covers
         nearly every aspect of a child’s life, but especially those traditionally managed by education
         and social services departments. Children's Trusts will normally sit within the local authority
         (County Council in two tier areas) and report to the Director of Children's Services who will
         report through the Chief Executive to elected councillors. Devon County Council is due to
         publish its Children and Young People’s Plan 2006 – 9 very soon.

4.5]     The Dobson Review ‘Getting Serious About Play [2003]’ was a Government commissioned
         document specifically to advocate and raise the profile of Play across Government
         departments. The report prompted a funding scheme for Play from the Big Lottery Fund in
         England and Wales of £155m for 2006 – 2009. This has been allocated to each unitary or
         district according to a formula based on the number of children and the indices of multiple
         deprivation. In Exeter the allocation is £230,000. One of the key criteria for gaining access to
         the allocation is that the projects put forward for funding must have a basis in a district play
         strategy such as this one.

4.6]     At the same time, the Children’s Play Council [7.6] was awarded a development grant from the
         Big Lottery Fund which will enable it to ‘lay the foundations for the strategic expansion of
         children’s play in England’. The Council was asked to prepare plans for a regional support
         structure for the play sector and draft guidance for local authorities in drawing up play
         strategies, and these were published in March 2006.

4.7]     A third tranche of money has been kept by the Big Lottery Fund and will be available to
         voluntary sector organisations for inventive new projects. Called Playful Ideas, the scheme is
         intended to offer support to a wide range of initiatives which fall outside the remit of the local
         authority managed tranche of play funding.



                                                       10
                             A play strategy for Exeter: DRAFT 16 June 06



4.8]   The objective of the Children’s Play Council is to create a support and development
       infrastructure for play across England. This will provide a resource to local area play
       partnerships and support the broad, long-term development of free local play provision. The
       guidance it has published suggests that it is looking for an imaginative and innovative
       approach to play, rolling back some of the risk-averseness which has seen formal play areas
       become increasingly bland and uninteresting. Environmental and adventure play settings are
       encouraged and the Play Council and the Big Lottery Fund are clearly looking to launch a new
       era in play, led in part by children themselves.




                              Early Years Environmental Play:
                                         Somerset


SECTION 2: LOCAL AND NATIONAL SUPPORT INFRASTRUCTURE

5]     IN THE CITY

5.1]   The national expectations are a significant challenge to Local Authorities, Primary Care
       Trusts, Education Services, Extended Schools, the Youth Service and other professional
       organisations in Exeter, as well as to the large and thriving voluntary sector.

5.2]   The key statutory organisations that have a direct interest in play and the development of
       young people and are therefore well placed to support and influence the outcomes and
       outputs of this play strategy are Exeter City Council and Devon County Council.

5.3    Devon County Council is in the process of reorganising its services under the Children’s Trust,
       but the services key to play are:

               Devon Children’s Trust
               Early Years Development and Childcare Partnership [Zero 14+]
               Exeter Children’s Centres
               Extended Schools Initiative
               Devon Youth Service
               Local Planning and Implementation Group and its age-cluster sub-groups 0 – 11 and
               12 – 19 (Called Children’s Trust Forums in other parts of the county)
               Devon Information Services for Children



5.4]   Exeter City Council’s position is at the more practical service level. It had its own play strategy
       until recently, but has now incorporated play into the Leisure Strategy. This is not a demotion
       of any sort: the L&M Strategy deliberately covers all the work of the Leisure & Museums Unit,

                                                  11
                             A play strategy for Exeter: DRAFT 16 June 06



       which is responsible for most aspects of play. Through this Strategy, the Council provides the
       following play opportunities:

              play areas for children up to 12 years
              recreation areas for young people over 12 including skateboarding/BMX installations
               and multi use games areas in local neighbourhoods
              Splash holiday play schemes in 2 areas of Exeter
              6 or 7 annual Playdays in parks across the City
              Scrapstore, which also offers play training
              Regular sports events and activities in liaison with schools and clubs
              Splash Holiday Play scheme on two sites every school holiday except Christmas
              creative workshops at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum
              public open spaces across the City including 3 countryside parks
              community development majoring on empowerment of local neighbourhoods
              grants to voluntary play organisations (administered by Exeter Council for Sport and
               Recreation
              Valley parks?

       Other key services within the City Council with relevance to play are:

              Contracts and Direct Services
                      Parks
                      Maintenance of play areas

              Economy and Tourism
                     Animated Exeter Festival
                     Other Festivals

              Planning Services
                       Urban Design
                       Section 106 contributions


5.5]   There are 2 nationally funded high profile initiatives working in the parts of Exeter with high
       deprivation indices that could have a direct influence on Play in Exeter, particularly:
           good practice in early years development and play with the under 5’s
           community empowerment and local ownership of services

       They are the Sure Start Initiative, based in Beacon Heath and Stoke Hill, and The Valley
       Regeneration Scheme in Wonford.

5.6]   Following the demise of the former Exeter Play Association, the Exeter Council for Sport and
       Recreation stepped into the breach and offered a provisional umbrella for play organisations in
       the city. On behalf of the City Council it distributes play grants to its members for projects they
       apply for.


6]     IN DEVON AND THE SOUTH WEST

6.1]   devonplay and operates county-wide to develop and promote good practice in play. It is a
       charity with a strategic brief to support play and playwork throughout the county.
6.2]   Playlines Trust is based across the South West, including Exeter and was established to:
            promote the development of children, young people and families through quality of
                services
            provide training
            develop community capacity to provide such services




                                                   12
                             A play strategy for Exeter: DRAFT 16 June 06



7]     NATIONAL BODIES

7.1]   The Children’s Play Council [CPC] is probably the most authoritative voice for children’s
       play in the UK. It is a campaigning and research organisation that promotes children’s play.

       Established in 1988, the CPC is an alliance of national and regional voluntary organisations,
       local authorities and partnerships with an interest in children’s play. This includes play
       associations and networks, playwork training organisations, local play services, Early Years
       Development & Childcare Partnerships and Local Strategic Partnerships as well as many
       national children’s charities. It publishes Play Today, runs forums on play safety, play
       research and play policy, as well as campaigning for play and the rights of children.

7.2    While Local Authorities are, and will remain by far the largest funders of play in England, The
       Big Lottery is set to become a major force by investing heavily in play development in
       England. Based on the recommendations of the report ‘Getting Serious about Play’, the Fund
       will invest £155 million in England over three years in the establishment of a strategic fund to
       create and improve local children’s play spaces in areas of greatest need. Grants will be
       awarded to projects to develop, create, improve and design innovative children’s play facilities
       with the aim of providing free local play provision for youngsters.

7.3    The programme has been deliberately designed to prompt local authorities to take the lead in
       play development and provision by establishing play partnerships and local play strategies:
       these must be in place before any of the nationally allocated money can be accessed. There
       will also be a strong emphasis on the sustainability of projects as well as their quality and
       innovation. The funding programme came on stream at the end of March 2006, with four
       application deadlines, June and November 2006, and March and June 2007.




SECTION 3: THE CUSTOMERS KNOW BEST:


8]     CONSULTATION WITH CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE:

8.1]   In the consultation for this Strategy, 193 Exeter children between 6 and 11 years and from
       different socio-economic backgrounds were asked questions about what they play now, what
       would they like to play and what is stopping them. These children were, in the main, members
       of their School Councils and had asked their fellow classmates for their views before the
       session. The answers were very enlightening:


       Play currently followed:

8.2]   As expected, the list was short and conservative …..

                                                 13
                             A play strategy for Exeter: DRAFT 16 June 06




          Where do you play outside?

          Playground equipment [swings, roundabouts etc]        27% regularly
          Playground Equipment as above                         57% occasionally
          Gardens [theirs and friends’]                         63%
          Parks /Recreation Grounds                             55% many with an adult
          Beach                                                 38%
          Neighbourhood streets                                 34%
          Beach                                                 23%
          Crealy Adventure Park                                 18% occasionally
          Crealy Adventure Park                                 32% once
          Grenville House Adventure Centre, Torbay              12% had been with school


       Play wish list:

8.3]   This became a wider and more imaginative list ….

          Where would you like to play outside, if it was entirely up to you?

          Woods                                                 72%
          In the Park                                           58%
          Swimming                                              56%
          Haunted Houses                                        56%
          By and on Rivers                                      49%
          BMX                                                   45%
          Various organised sports                              41% [slightly missed the point!]
          Under the Sea                                         40%
          Skateboards                                           40%
          Swinging on trees                                     38%
          Tunnels and dark places                               35%
          Building sites                                        31%
          On the cliffs                                         25%
          On the Sea                                            22%
          Adventure Holidays                                    18%
          Dangerous places                                      14%
          In the sky                                             3%




       Barriers To Play

8.4]   The barriers which get in the way of children playing are many and formidable. We have no
       way of knowing from this survey the extent to which these reasons are the children’s own or
       those presented to them by their parents.

              ‘What are the things that stop you playing?’

              Traffic                  84%
              Mess/Litter              71%
              Grown ups                73%
              Bullying           67%
              Getting to places        59%
              Strangers                53%
              Cost of facilities 51%
              Police                   26%

       48% thought there was nowhere exciting to go


                                                  14
                                   A play strategy for Exeter: DRAFT 16 June 06



8.5]       A national survey of 500 children [6 – 10] taken by The Children’s Society in 2005 found that:

                  45% can’t play with water
                  36% can’t climb trees
                  27% can’t use climbing equipment
                  23% can’t ride bikes and skateboards

8.6]       These consultation findings seem very significant, if not unexpected. It really does appear that
           the children of Exeter, in this age range at least, are restricted from the full opportunities that
           should be available in childhood.

8.7]       Consultation with young people – 12 – 19 years – took place with 56 people across the age
           group and from different socio-economic backgrounds. Play appeared to be an uncool word,
           particularly with 14 – 16 year olds! It was referred to as ‘what do you like to do in your spare
           time – given the chance?’ and was not restricted to outdoors:

Activities currently followed:

8.8]       The youth culture in Exeter appears to much the same as the rest of the UK; driven by image
           and commercialism ….

                  Where/what do you ‘play’?

                  Home [Electronic/digital entertainment] 68%
                  Sports [usually unorganised]                        58%
                  City Centre                                         49%
                  Parks/Recreation Grounds                            34%
                  Beach/Sea                                           20%
                  Youth Clubs                                         15%
                  Chillzone                                           14%
                  Grenville House, Torbay [with school/club]          10%
                  Grafitti [Taggers]                                   7%
                  Street Art                                           4%



           Activity wish list:

8.9]       More creative activities appeared in their wish lists ….

                  Where/what would you like to ‘play’, if it was entirely up to you?

                  Electronic/digital entertainment         76%
                  Sports [both unorganised and organised]             58%
                  BMX/ Skateboard                                     38%
                  City Centre                                         37%
                  Adventure Centres                                   30%
                  Participate in arts [make music, drama etc]         24%
                  Travel                                              22%
                  Extreme Sports                                      14%
                  Street Art                                          12%

           Barriers to activity:

8.10]      Authority and resources were by far the largest factors here ….

          ‘What are the things that stop you doing what you want to [within the law!]?’

                  Adults [both specific and general]         66%
                  Cost                                       62%
                  Not known to be available                  60%
                  Police                                     54%

                                                        15
                              A play strategy for Exeter: DRAFT 16 June 06



               Getting to places                          42%
               Bullying                                   30%
               Mess and broken glass                      14%

8.11]   The above consultation results, especially when added to the observations of involved adults,
        appear to show that:

            1. Although current play activities are widespread and geographically accessible, their
               scope is limited for both age groups and the potential for social interaction and
               developing life skills is not being achieved.
            2. There is a wealth of imagination, ambition and co-operation to be tapped into by
               professionals across public agencies if handled properly
            3. The success of the methods used to design the ChillZone demonstrates the value of
               involving users, no matter how young they are.
            4. Respect on both sides is necessary to move forward – talk to the consumer!
            5. Leadership and co-ordination within the sector in Exeter is required as there is much
               work to be done

8.12]   Emerging from conversations with children and young people as well as the play sector was
        the issue that the main potential for enhanced provision is for the 6 – 11 age group.

               0 – 5’s have early years childcare, Sure Start and private provision, with staffing
                resources devoted to the children themselves.
               Young people of 12 and over have access to a range of activities and ‘play activities’
                are not so high on their agenda.
               The 6 – 11 year group, at an age when they really need to start to learn how to move
                around in public on their own, are less well catered for. No public agency has
                statutory responsibility since youth services nationally changed their priorities to the
                over 11s.




9]      PLAY SPACE DESIGN:

9.1]    Having asked children and young people what they would like to play and where they would
        like to do it places a further responsibility on adults. Equally important is the how?

9.2]    We’ve asked the question – Where would you like to play?
        We’ve got the answer – In the woods
        We’ve asked the question – What do you want to play in the woods?
        We’ve got the answer – A tree house, swinging over a stream, and games with excitement
        and mystery.

9.3]    Now comes the how?
        How do we change the overgrown piece of land with a few trees that we have available, to fit
        the bill?
        How do we make it mysterious and exciting?
        How does the tree house want to be?
        How can a swing be made to swing over a river?
        We don’t have a river or a stream – how can make an alternative?

9.4]    Should the adults go away and do the design of the area themselves, instruct the landscapers
        and present the finished work to the children, it would be back to the days of traditional
        provision. If the adults were imaginative the area may have a little more mileage in it than if
        they were not, but what is mysterious to a group of adults and what constitutes a tree house
        may be light years away from what the group of children think. This must be accomplished in
        the knowledge that the public perceptions of risk and safety have changed a lot, and ensuring
        that current standards are built in to new installations will in itself reduce some of the inherent
        attraction.



                                                   16
                              A play strategy for Exeter: DRAFT 16 June 06



9.5]    the Exeter Play Strategy strongly advocates bringing the group of users in to design the area
        with technical support from the adults. In this way the end product will have that extra
        imaginative quality and be visually pleasing to the whole community without compromising the
        group’s ideas.

9.6]    Involvement, of course, has other benefits for the children:

               A growing understanding of the balance between safety and taking risks
               An understanding of inclusive play; ensuring in the design that disabled children can
                have equal access and enjoyment playing in the area with their able bodied peers
               A real ownership of the space which allows other children to share it with them,
                because they are proud of their achievement. It works for older groups as well:

          THE CHILLZONE AT FLOWERPOT PARK

          The Chillzone is a skateboard area in Flowerpot Playing Fields near the main
          railway station in Exeter. The Leisure Department of Exeter City Council developed
          it in collaboration with skateboarders of all ages in the City. The City’s
          skateboarders working with the Ivy Project did not only design this £150,000 skate
          park, but they were supported through the whole process of working with the City
          Council Planning and other departments to achieve it.
          It is also now a centre for street art in the City with mentoring and training sessions
          free for aspirant artists.
9.7]    To achieve this whole process successfully, it is important that the work is carried out in local
        communities, individual neighbourhoods or schools. This is the natural habitat of the children
        and young people and therefore, much more meaningful to them.



SECTION 4: PRIORITY ISSUES FOR PLAY IN EXETER:


10]     MANAGING RISK IN PLAY PROVISION:

10.1]   It is the job of all those responsible for children at play to assess and manage the level of risk,
        so that children are given the chance to stretch themselves, test and develop their abilities
        without exposing them to unacceptable risks. This is part of a wider adult social responsibility
        to children. If we do not provide controlled opportunities for children to encounter and manage
        risk themselves they may be denied a chance to learn these skills. They may also be more
        likely to choose to play in uncontrolled environments where the risks are greater.

10.2]   One valuable approach to risk management in play provision is to make the risks as apparent
        as possible to children. This means designing spaces where the risk of injury arises from
        hazards that children can readily appreciate [such as heights], and where hazards that
        children may not appreciate [such as equipment that can trap heads] are absent. This is
        particularly useful in unsupervised settings, where design of the equipment and the overall
        space has to do most of the work in achieving a balanced approach to risk.

10.3]   Safety in play provision is not absolute and cannot be addressed in isolation. Play provision is
        first and foremost for children and young people and if it is not exciting and attractive to them,
        then it will fail, no matter how ‘safe’ it is. Designers, managers and providers will need to reach
        compromises in meeting these sometimes conflicting goals. The judgements required for this
        balance should be rooted firmly in objectives concerned with children’s enjoyment and benefit.
        They should also take into consideration the concerns of parents.

10.4]   Ultimately the basis of these judgements should be made clear in the policies of the play
        provider as written down in policy documents. These policies should in turn be understood and
        embodied in practice by all the key stakeholders.




                                                   17
                               A play strategy for Exeter: DRAFT 16 June 06



11]     INCLUSIVE PLAY:

11.1]   A definition of Inclusive Play:

                ‘Provision that is open and accessible to all and takes positive action in removing
                disabling barriers, so that disabled and non-disabled children and young people can
                participate collaboratively together’ [Alice Jones: Disability Play Consultant]

        It is useful to use the Social Model of Disability to clarify thinking about inclusive play. This
        model identifies the barriers to inclusivity as the problem to be challenged, not the people who
        are, for one reason or another, seen as “different”. The focus is therefore on ensuring
        accessibility – physical, intellectual, cultural – because all have the same rights. This is in
        contrast to the so – called medical model, which does identify the person as the focus for
        “treatment”.

11.2]   The Social Model of Disability should be adopted as the method of identifying barriers and
        dismantling them, on the principles that:

           Children must not be discriminated against, or sent away, because of their impairments or
            differences
           Segregation teaches children to be fearful, ‘ignorant’ and breeds prejudice
           Given commitment and appropriate levels of support, inclusive play is a more effective
            use of resources
           Children do not need protecting from one another

11.3]   The same principle applies to diversity in ethnicity and faith. It is not the ethnicity or the faith
        which are the “problem”, but the barriers which genuinely or in perception prevent all children
        from enjoying the same facilities and activities. The task of It is the task of all concerned with
        the delivery of play provision to ensure that consultation with users takes into account all
        users, and treats them all with the same degree of respect.

11.4]   The new play area developed by Exeter City Council and SureStart in Whipton took this
        approach, but went further: it also takes into account the needs of parents with disabilities.
        They need the opportunity to play with their children too, and access to and along equipment
        is important to them. The design of this new area was carried out with the assistance of
        disabled parents who provided vital insights and advice.


12]     COMMUNITY CONTROL:

12.1]   The influence that children and young people have over their play environment is crucial for its
        success. It is just as important for the communities that those young people are part of have a
        wider control over their lives.

12.2]   Exeter City Council is considering a fresh way of working with communities across the City in
        the wake of the new national agenda on neighbourhood governance. An essential part of this
        process will be a well-managed partnership infrastructure provided by public agencies and
        voluntary sector organisations.

12.3]   Such an approach will be immensely relevant to the development of Play facilities and
        opportunities within communities, since play itself, with its universal application and appeal, is
        a key constituent of any local neighbourhood. It is important that play and services for children
        are high on the agenda of the plan for each neighbourhood. It should:

           Advocate the benefits of play
           Ensure that children and young people have their voice heard in the process
           Provide expertise to advise and support the planning process
           Ensure that local schools, colleges, play settings and other facilities are brought into the
            planning process




                                                    18
                                   A play strategy for Exeter: DRAFT 16 June 06



13]     PLAY IN PUBLIC SPACES:

13.1]   What is meant by Public Space: ‘….that continuous network of pavements, streets, amenity
        land, parks, playing fields, town squares, forecourts [as in railway station], car parks and other
        paved open spaces, which children and young people use in the course of their daily lives,
        and which makes up that familiar territory of place and attachment …’ [Warpole 2002 ‘No
        Particular Place to Go’]

13.2]   Although that is a non-controversial definition, it has very wide implications for those designing
        and managing that range of spaces; reconquering some of those areas for children will be a
        long and difficult process. Step by step will be the key to success in this area with each step
        being seen as having a positive benefit for both children and young people and adult members
        of the public.

13.3]   As well as the involvement of the local community and young people, the key to many
        successes [e.g. Stonehouse Playspace Association, Bath Area Play project and West Durham
        Groundwork], is an imaginative vision for the public space. These projects have found, to no
        one’s surprise, that expecting the urban open space to welcome children and young adults’
        cultural expressions through play without changing its appearance and ‘feel’ is a non starter.
        All worked with respective Local Authority Planning Departments, Parks Departments, City
        Centre Managers etc to bring an imaginative and colourful aspect to the space. Interactive
        public art and other imaginative techniques and the removal of traffic can do a great deal to
        make the public realm accessible to small humans again.

13.4]   However, there is more fundamental work to be done, particularly in parks and other green
        spaces. The barriers identified by children themselves offer a salutary lesson to Exeter City
        Council, the Police and communities. Mess and litter, bullies and strangers, real and
        perceived, can make play impossible and this requires careful attention.

13.5]   One way of achieving this is by better co-ordination of those public and voluntary staff already
        present in the public realm – community patrol, the police, community support officers, parks
        staff, for example, many of them already trained and experienced in the role of play supporters
        – in taking on a more aware and proactive role in supervising and monitoring those areas
        used for play. In some circumstances trained play workers, together with volunteers from
        local communities, can add enormous value to a space, but we need to be clear about what
        those spaces will do and who they are for.

14]     ENVIRONMENTAL PLAY:

14.1]   Exeter has 6 Valley Parks and a hinterland of moorland, marshland, coast and river valleys.
        For a city it is particularly well provided with informal open space both within its boundaries
        and just outside them. However it is well documented that children and young people find it
        increasingly difficult to enjoy opportunities to explore both these natural environments and the
        detrimental effects of such deprivation are well evidenced, and even coast and countryside
        within a few miles is completely inaccessible to a child without the assistance of an adult.

                 ‘The opportunities for experiencing the natural world are decreasing at an alarming
                 rate. Factors in both the physical and social environments of today’s world seldom
                 allow children the opportunity to freely explore and manipulate natural elements. This
                 deprivation can lead to ecophobia and prejudice against nature.’ [Warpole 2002 ‘No
                 Particular Place to Go’]

14.2]   A number of activities already take place in the city’s Valley Parks, run by Exeter City Council,
        RSPB, Devon Wildlife Trust and so on, but the potential for better use of this invaluable
        resource for the benefit of children is enormous, given the right support and funding.


15]     ADVENTURE PLAY:

15.1]   Adventure playgrounds are specifically designed to provide the widest possible range of play
        opportunities for children. Though this form of provision may incidentally meet adult
        requirements, it is first and foremost play provision for the child. Staffed adventure

                                                       19
                              A play strategy for Exeter: DRAFT 16 June 06



        playgrounds are a form of open access provision; that is, children are able to come and go
        freely. Adventure playground service objectives are directed towards meeting the full range of
        play criteria. The child's ability to control and freedom of choice are the characteristic values
        of an adventure playground.

15.2]   Here again the city’s Valley Parks offer enormous potential for the development of this kind of
        play, given good and imaginative design.



SECTION 5: DELIVERY STRUCTURE FOR PLAY IN EXETER


16]     EXETER CITY COUNCIL

16.1]   Exeter City Council has a long and continuing history of play provision. Should the City
        Council endorse the new city-wide strategy for play, it should review its own policies, as part of
        the writing of a new Leisure Strategy during 2006. The City Council should also be the
        conduit into the city’s Vision Partnership, which should be asked to accept play as a key
        component of several of its Objectives, in particular those promoting a Healthy City, a Cultural
        and Fun Place to Be and a Learning City.

16.2]   One effect of the adoption of a city-wide strategy should be that play considerations are
        automatically addressed when any development or change is being planned.

16.3]   As the steering body for the strategy as a whole the City Council will need to treat play
        strategically and as a cross-cutting issue, and promote vigorously the same attitude in its
        major public partners. In particular the involvement of both strategic and development control
        planners and urban designers will be crucial to the gradual improvement of the public realm in
        respect of play opportunities.

16.4]   In order to enable itself to take that wide view, the City Council should put in place the
        following measures:

           Managing and hosting a Play Development Officer role within the City Council, if it is
            possible to use BIG Lottery earmarked funds to establish the post.
           Affirming that the Portfolio Holder for Environment and Leisure will champion the place of
            play and leisure for young people generally
           Strengthen the place of play in city’s Cultural and Leisure Strategies and raise awareness
            of the benefits of play within Local Strategic Partnerships
           An agreed policy statement and commitment to manage the strategic process of
            developing play
           Incorporation of play issues into other plans and strategies


16.5]   The City Council, as a major provider in its own right, should review its own practice to align it
        with the Play Strategy, and work to ensure that its facilities and services are complementary to
        the other opportunities offered by statutory, voluntary and private providers. This should be
        done through the Leisure Strategy and its annual action plan, and the service plan of the
        Community Outreach section.


16.6    The City Council should take the lead in creating a new Exeter Play Association, mainly to
        give the voluntary sector a voice in the development of play policy and practice in the city, but
        also to act as a grass roots forum for all play practitioners to share information and
        experience, and to advise the City Council and any future wider Play Partnership on practical
        matters. Through the Association all play providers and policy organisations would have
        access to the views of young people on all their concerns. The City Council should support
        this association until it has the capacity to act completely independently.



                                                   20
                               A play strategy for Exeter: DRAFT 16 June 06



16.7    Should one of the portfolio items submitted to the Big Lottery Fund be the employment of a
        play development worker, the City Council will host the post




17]     A PLAY ASSOCIATION FOR EXETER

17.1]   The key components of the delivery structure for play in Exeter, in the early years at least, will
        continue to be the City Council’s play services and the voluntary sector. It is therefore vital
        that a city-wide voice, in the shape of an Exeter Play Association, is established to represent
        and support the latter. Ownership of the strategy will lie jointly with the City Council and the
        Association, 17.2.

17.3]   The City Council’s play team, part of the Community Outreach section, will continue to co-
        ordinate and facilitate play development in Exeter, in collaboration with the Play Association
        and other partners. As well as continuing to deliver its own services it will provide a
        “secretariat” to administer the acquisition and management of external funding – the Big
        Lottery Fund allocation being the principal target. As soon as possible the Exeter Play
        Association should take over the distribution of play grants from the Exeter Council for Sport
        and Recreation.



18]     A PLAY PARTNERSHIP

18.1]   The hallmarks of success of the Exeter Play Strategy will be firstly its ability to bring together
        existing play providers to offer a complementary and improving service, but, equally
        importantly to influence those organisations whose activities have great impact on children
        and play to improve their awareness and delivery of good quality environments and services
        for children: the potential for better play. The creation of a robust partnership to anchor this
        development is therefore a key priority for this strategy.

18.2]   It remains a clear option to construct an entirely new partnership to serve this purpose.
        However there already exists in Exeter a partnership with the same membership and the
        objective of considering children’s services overall in the city. This is the Local Planning and
        Implementation Group (LPIG), now a functioning part of the Children’s Trust and a key
        component of the Children’s Services Plan 2006 – 9.



                                                    21
                              A play strategy for Exeter: DRAFT 16 June 06




18.3]   The LPIG

                       Works to City Council boundaries
                       Has a broad mix of membership from the voluntary and statutory sectors
                       Is part of the Children’s Trust, but reports to the Exeter Vision Partnership
                        (local strategic partnership) as well
                       Has a remit to oversee work for young people from 0 – 19

18.4]   We believe that adding the duties of a play partnership to the LPIG would enrich the work of
        that group, create more and more effective links between different services and be an efficient
        use of the scarce time of a group of people who would in any case be invited to both
        partnerships if they existed separately. The City Council, as the key enabler, would service
        the needs of the LPIG for play information.

18.5]   The role of the LPIG as Play Partnership would be to:

                Oversee the strategy
                Promote awareness of the benefits of play
                Create new links and possibilities
                Feed play issues into the agendas of the Devon Children’s Trust and the Vision
                Partnership.

SECTION 6: RECOMMENDATIONS


19.1    The definition of play used in this strategy is that recommended by the Children’s Play
        Council: Play is freely chosen, personally directed, intrinsically motivated behaviour that
        actively engages a child.

19.2    The Aims of the Strategy are to:

       Extend the choice and control that children and young people have over their play, the
        freedom they enjoy and the satisfaction they gain from it
       Recognise the participant’s need to test boundaries and respond positively to that need
       Manage the balance between the need to offer risk and the need to keep children and young
        adults free from harm
       Maximise the range of play opportunities available across the City of Exeter
       Ensure that play is inclusive, regardless of disability, special needs, ethnicity and economic
        circumstance
       Foster independence, self-esteem and respect for others by offering opportunities for social
        interaction
       Foster well-being, healthy growth and development, knowledge and understanding, creativity
        and the capacity to learn in both children and young people
       Build respect and understanding between the generations and seek to manage potential
        conflicts caused by differing perceptions of play
       Promote awareness of the concerns and aspirations of young people relating to play, in the
        policy and practice of public bodies in Exeter.

19.3    Exeter City Council should take the lead in forming an Exeter Play Partnership, to act as a
        forum where all play issues in Exeter can be discussed and addressed. Membership of the
        partnership would consist of organisations with a play interest in making opportunities for play
        abundant and diverse, for example the Vision Partnership, the Primary Care Trust, the
        Children’s Trust, various branches of the County Council and the City Council etc and
        representatives of the voluntary sector. Should it agree, the Exeter Local Planning and
        Implementation Group of the Children’s Trust could undertake this role.

19.4    The Exeter Play Strategy will be owned and managed jointly by the Exeter Play Association
        and Exeter City Council, with the participation of a wide range of stakeholders. They will

                                                   22
                               A play strategy for Exeter: DRAFT 16 June 06



        jointly review it annually, and update it to reflect new priorities and situations as they arise.
        The life of the Strategy will be 5 years.

19.5    It is recommended that a new organisation, to be named Exeter Play Association, be set up to
        represent the interests of children’s play and the organisations and groups devoted to its
        promotion and management in the City of Exeter.

10.6    Exeter City Council should facilitate the creation of this organisation, and take responsibility for
        building its capacity so that it can eventually act as an independent voice for children’s play in
        Exeter.

19.7    The City Council and the Exeter Play Association should promote awareness of play and
        children’s issues to ensure that access to and between play facilities is optimised and
        affordable by children and young people.

19.8    The City Council, on behalf of the Partnership, should ensure that it is involved in local,
        regional, national and international networks of good play practice and innovation.

19.9    All partners should build on the current comprehensive city-wide provision of ‘traditional’
        playgrounds to by focusing resources on a “next stage” of creative and imaginative play
        spaces and their associated facilities and services, particularly in the fields of environmental,
        adventure and inclusive play.

19.10   The City Council and the Exeter Play Association should provide clear advice and training on
        managing risk in play.

19.11   Using the Social Model of Disability the Partnership should aim to champion the adoption of
        the principle of inclusive play in all new projects, facilities and activities.

19.12   The City Council and the Exeter Play Association should work with play training providers to
        give students work placement and other practical opportunities as well as advising on
        innovative approaches to training from its on-going experiences in Exeter.

19.13   Exeter City Council, on behalf of the stakeholders, should formulate a Play Development
        Portfolio to access the allocation of funding for play from the Big Lottery Fund, consult with
        play providers and others and submit an agreed list in November 2006.




                                                     23

								
To top