The Committee received an update report in advance of the Playground and Open Space Audit which will be presented in full in January 2022.
Councillors were reminded that this was a strategic review of playgrounds and open spaces, it had not impacted on repairs and maintenance which is continuing as usual.
As part of the next steps of this process all Councillors will receive a printed pack for review which will contain detail of the playgrounds and open spaces in their ward and will be asked to provide feedback on the accuracy and any omissions they are aware of. The collated data will form part of the full report.
Councillor Wells asked for a breakdown of the ownership of the play areas, the Head of Property and Asset Management advised that a list will be circulated to Committee members.
The Committee discussed the issues currently being experienced in respect of sourcing spares for equipment and the consequential delays in repairs. They suggested that procurement should be sought in the UK wherever possible to try to prevent these issues impacting in the future.
Councillor Waters-Bunn thanked the Head of Property and Asset Management for this report and particularly drew attention to the requirements for accessible equipment, as provided at Beaconsfield where there is a roundabout which has wheelchair access.
The Committee also discussed the options for play spaces which do not incur significant cost for repairs and upkeep, such as five a side football areas and a move from mechanical to more natural play schemes.
Councillor P Hammond raised a question in respect of the use and repair requirements in respect of the Tennis Courts. The Head of Property and Asset Management advised that these would be included in the Play Pitch Strategy which is not part of this report. The majority of the MUGA will be discussed in the Play Pitch Strategy, only two are included in this report and details of which ones these are will be circulated.
The Committee asked the Strategic Director that the Play Pitch Strategy be reported to Environment Committee rather than to the Housing and Neighbourhoods Committee as this would align with the Playground and Open Space Audit report.
To note the update report with a view to considering options on receipt of the full audit in January 2022.