Play area plans put on hold due to government cuts
Archived press release
Date Published: 13/08/10
Plans to transform play facilities in Aylesbury have been put on hold due to government funding cuts.
The national Playbuilder programme, which has seen play areas across the country rejuvenated, is under threat because of the coalition government’s need to reduce public expenditure and cut the national deficit.
Playbuilder was set up under the former government by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, and the aim was to change the way play spaces are commissioned, designed and built.
In 2009 Aylesbury Vale District Council successfully secured £350,000 from the Playbuilder programme for the development of seven play sites within areas identified as having the highest child population, lowest “play value” and highest deprivation levels.
In the first year four sites were completed at Alfred Rose Park, Denby Walk, Haddington Way and Waivers Way, which have proved to be very successful and popular with local children. Working with community groups and schools, a further three sites were scheduled to be constructed by the end of 2010.
But now the Department for Education has ordered an immediate stop to all Playbuilder work until further notice, as the funding is required to help make savings.
The affected play schemes include Haydon Hill and Meadowcroft in the Quarrendon ward and Simpson Place in the Mandeville and Elm Farm ward.
Councillor David Thompson, Cabinet Member for Leisure, said: “A great deal of time and effort has been put into developing these schemes, the expectation of the children has been raised and communities are relying on this money. We are extremely disappointed by the latest news on the play capital fund, and we will do all we can to try to secure necessary funding.”
A government decision on any revisions to the Playbuilder scheme is expected by the end of August.