David Ramsey calls for investment in play provision across Derry to address deficit
Councillors were unanimous in their support for notice of motion calling for investment in play provision at a meeting of Derry City & Strabane District Council.
The motion, brought by DUP Alderman David Ramsey, called for ‘Council to recognise the deficit in play provision across the District as identified in the Play Park Strategy.’
This has been added to as a number of parks are currently closed due to health and safety concerns with no plans in place for replacement.
The motion also called for Council to ‘support the need for new investment to be identified within its capital strategy to address these deficits.’
Alderman Ramsey said: “We need to recognise the deficit in the play provisions and it is obviously something that the Play Plan review has highlighted as a major issue for us.
“Every Councillor and Alderman have had experiences where the play parks are part of the family unit. The play parks are a major asset for our rate-paying community and now is the time that we, as a council, should support the need for new investment to be identified to address all the deficits.
“One of the major issues we have been faced with after the Play Plan review is that some of the parks have been removed and that's a major issue for the local community and children.
“This is a major community matter for us and hopefully we can find the extra investment that is needed in our capital strategy and we look forward to the capital strategy having positive news on this going forward.”
All Councillors agreed unanimously with the sentiments with SDLP Councillor Martin Reilly adding: “I do think it is important the council documents the importance of play to people across our council area, specifically our young people but some of our play parks provide a place of solace to the older generation and to parents who want to get their children out into the fresh air and to enjoy that safe space in their locality. It affects people right across all the age spectrum.”
With councillors from all parties welcoming the motion, People Before Profit Councillor Maeve O’Neill said: “Parks are essential and play is essential in a child’s development. Money invested in parks is not money wasted, the return in terms of the positive outcomes for children and young people in terms of health and well being is massive. It is essential that our parks have access for children of all abilities.”
The motion was carried unanimously.