London council boosts street play initiative
02 April 2014 I Children and Young People Now
A London council has moved to boost outdoor play by making it easier for residents to arrange temporary street closures.
Residents in Islington can apply for their street to be closed for up to three hours.
From next Monday (7 April), Islington Council is ditching application fees related to requests from residents wanting to close their street. It will be up to residents to gain the support of neighbours for temporary play street closures....
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...The drive to increase street play in Islington coincides with wider efforts to encourage street play. In April last year a consortium of play organisations - London Play, Play England and Bristol-based Playing Out, were awarded funding of more than £1m to develop street play across England.
London Play's development manager Paul Hocker said the organisations have been working hard over the past 12 months to “inspire, inform and support” a play street revival.
“We have seen a literal explosion in interest from residents across London excited about re-imagining their streets as spaces for communities and not just cars,” he said.
“But a notable success has been the level of interest from more unexpected avenues such as council highways departments. An event we held at City Hall last year saw 100 people, ranging from residents to public health officials to highways managers and elected councillors, all excited about the potential for play streets to strengthen communities, improve mental and physical health, and have a lot of fun in the process.”
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