Play facilities

Swansea Labour administration seek to invest extra £1m in play facilities

The Labour-led Swansea Council is set to invest an additional £1m on improving play facilities across the city.

The council’s Labour cabinet is being asked to approve the scheme at a meeting on September 17.

A share of the new pot, which could be used to improve or refurbish existing playgrounds and equipment or create new facilities, will be made available to all councillors on top of their community budgets.

Labour Cllr Robert Francis Davies, Cabinet Member for Investment, Regeneration and Tourism, said: “Swansea has some of the very best parks and outdoor play areas anywhere in the country and people have used our parks and open spaces in greater numbers than ever before during the Covid crisis.

“This has helped people’s mental health and well-being during a very difficult time and this significant new investment will ensure that all our communities in Swansea can benefit from better park and play facilities.

“I’m looking forward to seeking the approval of my cabinet colleagues for this exciting new initiative.”

Councillors would be able to draw up to £30,000 per year from the capital budget for each ward although the capital contribution cannot represent more than 80% of the total costs of a scheme, with the balance coming from other sources such as grants, revenue community budget allocation or wider community donations.

Each scheme must be on council owned land although where an asset has been transferred to a community group to manage it will still qualify.

Councillors will be provided with an overview of their current facilities within their ward to assist in their decision making or priorities.

All 72 of the city’s councillors already have access to their own community budget which they can use during their period of office to support good causes, highway improvement works, build or improve bus shelters or upgrade street lighting.

Earlier this year it was agreed that councillors would have access to an additional £1m fund to make it possible for ward members to put forward bigger schemes which cash from their own budget could not cover in the past.

The £1m play scheme investment will be on top of this but will be ring fenced for play facilities.

Labour Cllr Andrew Stevens, Cabinet Member for Business Improvement and Performance, said: “The project encourages councillors to work together to access the fund and, if they want, they’ll also be able to top-up schemes from their own ward member funds.

“Members often receive requests to find ways to help provide or improve play facilities. Thanks to this £1m fund it will be possible to invest more in the kind of priorities local people want to see because they’ll make a difference in their neighbourhoods.

“Councillors will still have access to their own budgets which they can use to either supplement projects supported by the new fund or respond to requests for other schemes.”

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