Dear young people, parents and carers,
Lambeth is proud of our strong commitment to children’s play. The council provides funding to fifteen adventure playgrounds (APGs), more than any other borough in London, because we know that they are a much-loved and important resource.
Seven of the APGs in Lambeth are run directly by the council – these are Tulse Hill, Lollard Street, Loughborough, Willington, Kennington, Max Roach & Streatham Vale. These APGs are excellent facilities, but they are quite expensive to run. Because the Government is cutting Lambeth’s funding by a third, we are being forced to reduce their budgets, which means that they will not be as open as much as they are now.
We know that the summer holidays are the busiest time for our adventure playgrounds, so we are not going to make any changes until September 2011 - the adventure playground service will continue to be open as usual until the end of the holidays. But from September we will need to reduce the opening hours, but will also work with local people to identify different ways of running these APGs.
We think that there are better ways of running APGs. For instance, Lambeth provides the funding for eight adventure playgrounds that are run independently by community groups or local charities – they offer very good value, so we don’t need to reduce their funding at all.
We think that by involving local communities, parents, and users in making decisions, and working more closely with the independent APGs, we can design a modern and sustainable play service that is protected from government cuts. I’m very pleased to say that we are working together with the independent Lambeth Play Association, who have been championing play in Lambeth for many years.
As users of adventure playgrounds we want to work with you as we shape the future of the service, which will be in keeping with the vision for the Cooperative Council programme. We are beginning the consultation programme in June and will confirm a date for the first meeting in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, my deputy, Cllr Adedamola Aminu and myself are more than happy to come and meet parents and children to talk about the future of their adventure playground. We want to hear from you so please just contact me using the details below if you would like one of us to come and visit and explain how we can work together to protect play in Lambeth.
Cllr Pete Robbins
Cabinet Member for Children and Young People
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