The ability and opportunity to play outside is something that is often taken for granted. Yet, for many people, those opportunities are limited. We want our children to be active, but in a safe environment.
For many, the local council recreation ground or park has always been the place to go for a run-around, or to use the play equipment.
Despite the pressures on land and budgets, the council recognises the importance of active recreation to help tackle childhood obesity. Some new housing developments install and maintain play areas under a private management agreement, though the majority of play areas and greenspace for informal play remain under the council’s control.
We have a large number of play areas in the city. A great deal of time and money is required to maintain them and to ensure they are safe. A lot of the equipment is coming to the end of the designed lifespan, and is beyond economic repair. We have to decide how we are going to provide play opportunities for the future.