A special consultation has just launched for local people to express their views on the development of future play park provision across Derry and Strabane. A number of public consultation events are also planned in various wards, beginning in the Greater Shantallow/ Galliagh/ Culmore (Ballyarnett) area next week (see below for details for your area).
The meetings will take place over the coming weeks to engage community groups, local politicians, and the public to seek their views on how the strategy should be shaped.
The consultation is part of Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Play Plan strategy to improve facilities for local children, giving them access to open spaces and high quality play equipment.
Mayor Michaela Boyle encouraged people to take the opportunity to identify needs in their own areas.
“Council is committed to providing the best play opportunities for all children and the workshops open up that conversation to involve local people in creating a new approach to delivering play provision across Derry and Strabane.
“We are aware that there are areas that have been overlooked in terms of facilities and this process will help us gain a comprehensive view of existing play provision and those areas of greatest need.
“I would really encourage local communities to avail of this opportunity to speak out for their own area and ensure that we can develop the best approach to meeting the needs of children of all ages and abilities right across the City and District.”
A detailed audit will be carried out as part of the Play Plan process and a full review of all current play facilities.
A number of areas will be considered, including barriers to play and the impacts of social deprivation, as well as exploring the needs of specific groups of children and young people including those with a disability. It will also agree a methodology, rationale and development criteria to guide future investment of fixed play provision.
Play Development Officer with Council, Helen Turton, said: “Children have the right to be able to play and enjoy the freedom and health benefits of open spaces and play facilities, especially in built up and deprived areas. We want to focus our efforts on identifying where these facilities are needed most and we need the help of local communities to ensure we can develop a targeted and effective strategy.”
Meetings are scheduled to take place in each District Electoral Area throughout November and December. Anyone who can’t attend an event is welcome to contact Alan Herron at PlayBoard NI directly and people are encouraged to fill in a special questionnaire for Children and Young People, Parents and Carers or Community Providers.
Separate consultation events are planned for children and young people in the New Year and follow up DEA meetings will also be held to present the findings from the consultation process.
You can record your views online by filling in the survey available for a 12-week period via the Council website at: www.derrystrabane.com/playconsultation
Meetings will take place at the following locations throughout November and December:
12th November: Ballyarnett, location: The Leafair Centre
14th November: Moor, The Guildhall
19th November: Waterside, location: Waterside Theatre
21st November: Sperrin, Location: Artigarvan Community Hall
26th November: Derg, Location: Derg Valley Healthy Living Centre, Castlederg
27th November: Foyleside, Location: Brooke Park Horticultural Centre
3rd December: Faughan, YMCA, Drumahoe
5th December: Strabane Location: Civic Room Strabane Library