Rachel Knight 0

Broad Hinton Children's Play Area

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We want a play area that serves the needs of ALL the children in Broad Hinton and the neighbouring villages. The Pitchens End amenity area is proposed as the most suitable location, as it is the only council-owned land in the village. We already have the support of the Parish Council for a pre-school play area of approx 75m2 on this land, funding for which is proving very hard to come by. Play should be at the heart of children's everyday lives and experiences throughout childhood, but opportunities to play outside are falling. This is why the government is investing GBP 235m (over three years 2008 to 2011) to develop exciting new play areas in every local authority in England. Play is essential to the healthy development of children and young people; not just their physical development, but their social and cognitive development too. Wiltshire Council has GBP 1.1m Playbuilder monies (aimed at 8-13 year olds) which it is planning to distribute as GBP 50,000 grants for play areas around the county. This is a fantastic opportunity to win sufficient funding to build a high quality play area for the young children of the parish. A play area that meets the needs of the whole age group, both boys and girls, and that will be something the whole parish can enjoy. With clever design we can create something that is also accessible to the younger children too, meaning that we would only need to raise separate funding for a few smaller toddler items rather than the full GBP 30,000 for a bespoke under 6s play area. And, for those children who enjoy free play team sports like football there would still be room for them to do this. We appreciate that some residents may have concerns that a play area may attract anti-social behaviour. However, to quote Wiltshire Council's own website: anti-social behaviour is not (among other things) children playing in the street or communal areas, or young people gathering socially - unless they are being intimidating to individuals. Also, the suggestion is that older teens will hang out there and cause a nuisance by drinking etc. As it is in full view of the residents of Pitchens End - we don't believe that adding this play area will exacerbate poor behaviour, plus it tends to be very un-cool to hang out at the play ground when you reach 14+! In fact, towns and councils across the country are installing play areas and hang out areas in order to REDUCE anti-social behaviour as they offer a constructive use of energy! Fear of anti-social behaviour is generally greater than the reality, and we truly don't believe we should not do things in life because we're afraid of what a small minority might possibly do to spoil it. That fear has contributed to the decline in play opportunities and the government has acknowledged this needs to change by making this funding available. Let's work together to improve the facilities for ALL the children of our parish. Concerns and comments can be fed into the design stage to deliver something that works for the whole community. Please do not underestimate how radically this will improve the lives of our children. It is a rare thing in England to find a village of this size that has absolutely no play facilities for its children at all. Please sign this petition to show that you do not object to a play area aimed at children up to age 13. Thank you


This petition is sponsored by a group of parents who live in the parish and Broad Hinton Kids Club


www.wiltshire.gov.uk www.playengland.org.uk (Design for Play) www.broadhinton.org.uk
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