Collaborative legislation process
We need less small scale play spaces with equipment and space that do not challenge children or encourage imaginative play, if we can put more investment in larger scale destination play spaces that cater for all ages , and are co -designed in conjunction with local communities, we can hopefully have assets that remain relevant for future generations.
Better consultation with communities. Look how few replies you have here for evidence of poor levels of engagement. Get the council Comms Department to find better ways to engage with people. I was at Dysart the other day on the Fife Coastal Path to Wemyys, where the worst local park I’ve seen is situated. Who decided that those climbing poles, a basketball court (on grass) and a shelter for underage drinkers was the right way to go? Wonder how much that cost?
Continuing the aspect of INCLUSION: As far as possible, it is vital to enable any children/young people with special needs to participate in enjoying the provision of play/recreational activities. This is an area which requires careful thought and consideration. It is possible to provide specific requirements e.g. a wheelchair swing or a roundabout adapted for wheelchair use. There are a number of items which could be provided to enable inclusive use of this also applies to a range of multipurpose “play items“ which provide for agility and thought incorporating different features at different levels. These items can include features which can be readily accessed at a lower level which allows for inclusive use when playing with other children. One other factor which should be considered is the fact that the form and nature of play and recreational facilities will develop and change as time goes on. This is where the use of natural materials comes into it’s own.
On the subject of gender I feel that the major differences relate to the fact that, while boys, do like to chill out, they are more competitive than girls i’d like to show off their prowess on different items of equipment. Girls, like to use some equipment but , they tend to prefer grouping together to chat. What area do you have the play and recreation provision is that of special needs. If a local community or indeed any other source can advise as to who would benefit from the provision of challenging and imaginative play features, or, simply an area to chill out in this would be very helpful at the planning stage. It is vital that the parents/guardian and their child/young person are involved in discussions in order make their experience as inclusive as possible. Some years ago, I met a mother and child at a play facility at Pitencrieff Park, Dunfermline. The child had cerebral palsy. The mother showed me the items which he could use and others partly or not at all. INCLUSIV
Multi-purpose recreation areas should be provided for young people with good access from home. Ditto for skateboard areas/biking. If there are large housing developments submitted for planning permission, then, these should provided by the developer.
Community groups can be set up to access grant funding not available to Fife Council. Once the facilities are in place the groups can disband, job done. It would be good if communities could take ownership of those facilities outwits major parks e.g. removal of litter/dog fouling/reporting any concerns to the Council. Young people can be encouraged to develop a sense of ownership by being involved in such projects from the start.
The provision of play facilities close to home is important in that, toddlers can be taken there by parents and then as young children they can go there by themselves or with friends. These areas can provide a variety of interactive and challenging facilities. Since the turn of the century play futures have become more imaginative and educational in their use. Features Cando utilise electronics and colour to attract younger children and enable them to participate in learning activities and also communication with others. Equipment can also be used which gradually involves an increasing level of agility and activity. These areas can also make use of natural materials which can enhance biodiversity at different levels and also encourage natural play e.g. grass mounds, planted areas including trees, and water (where possible).
Similar features scaled up can work for young people, along with recreational facilities e.g. multi- use/skateboards etc.
Destination place spaces located in major parks and major open spaces, designed for a wide range of users can be very beneficial. Regarding the involvement of local communities, especially those using the facilities this can be important. However, Regarding the involvement of local communities, especially those using the facilities this can be important. However, this does not guarantee that such facilities will be relevant in the longer term, since, play feature designs are becoming more focused on interactive elements.
I disagree that we need fewer small play spaces – these are often closer to houses and so address the problem of children not being able to use the bigger (further away) play parks on their own. Being able to go to a small park near your home promotes independence. I agree that the Council should have a suitable budget for ongoing maintenance of play parks, which seems to be missing from their planning at present. This saves money in the long term - a fact the Council seems to have overlooked.
The council need to allocate a suitable budget for ongoing maintenance of play parks and allow for complete upgrades every 15-20 years. The council need to get much better at asset management. The current approach is not good enough.