Shepherd introduced her report which provided an update following
the adoption of Maidstone’s Play Area Policy by the Committee
in October 2017.
Committee noted that £200,000 had been allocated to the
Parish Grant Scheme to support improvements at Strategically
Important Play Areas owned or operated by Parish
Councils. Out of the 29 Parishes that
were eligible for funding, 9 applications were received and had
been successful for funding. The total
amount requested was £86,500 and with match funding of
£143,000 the scheme had generated £230,000 of
improvements to Strategically Important Play Areas.
there being a surplus in the budget, it was proposed that a second
round of funding be undertaken to give those Parishes who did not
submit an application previously to put in a bid for
Shepherd advised that there were 20 MBC play areas which had been
identified as non-strategically important and would be considered
for decommissioning when the equipment comes to the end of its
usable life. However, the Committee was
advised that Officers would be contacting Ward Members and Parish
Councils of those play areas to have an early discussion to
consider alternative management arrangements for the site or
request the Committee consider the future of their
Non-Strategically Important Play Areas (NSIPAs).
noted that none of those on the list of NSIPAs would be closed for
the next five years.
response to questions from Members, Mrs Shepherd advised
·She would check with the Property Team to see how
the transfer of the ownership of Franklin Drive play area to Boxley
Parish Council was progressing.
·If the Parish Council was to purchase a piece of
play equipment, the Council would carry out safety inspections and
minor repairs but if there were major repairs required then it
would not carry these out.
proceeding discussion Members made the following
·That one of the criterion for strategically
important play areas of being within a 12 minute walk to residents
should be revisited.
·That there are a number of densely populated areas
and areas of deprivation that do not have a play area and this
should be further investigated.
·That if there was a strength of feeling from
residents for a play area in their area, a residents association or
similar organisation could take several years to form by which time
it could be too late.
·That any surplus from the underspend on the Parish
Grant Scheme should be ringfenced and
used towards those non-strategically important play
1) That the
outcome of the Strategically Important Play Area (SIPA)
Parish Grant Scheme be noted.
2) That a
second round of funding, based on the previous criteria, for
the remaining budget be approved.
3) That a
pro-active approach to contacting Ward Members and Parish
Councils for areas with non-strategically important play areas
(NSPAs) is supported, in order to seek opportunities for further
investment, third party management of the sites or consideration of