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Let your council know you are ready for a #summerofplay

posted this in Play Streets on 18/03/2021

Stewards closing the road

We really want to play out again this summer. We all need to let off steam, have some fun and connect with neighbours after this incredibly challenging year. Play streets have huge potential to help neighbourhoods heal from some of the challenges of the pandemic.

When can play streets start?

We are getting a lot more enquiries about when play streets can start again. The roadmap out of lockdown makes it clear that play streets can happen this summer, and many councils are now getting a policy in place or thinking about how to make it easier for residents to apply. As things stand, from 17 May the rule of six will be dropped and up to 30 people can meet outdoors, although you do need to check what the rules are in your local area. Read our play streets and covid page for more information.

Wondering where to start or how to get your neighbours on board? Organising a play street is amazing and rewarding, we have loads of tips and resources to help you get started and hopefully make it as easy as possible.

I’m keen but…

…my council doesn’t support play streets yet or
…my council hasn’t reopened applications yet

Either way, now is the time to contact them. Write to your council and urge them to create a play street policy or encourage them to think about reopening applications and making play streets a really big deal this year.

We’ve made it easy for you

Download our template letter, copy and paste it into an email and edit it with your own local information, or personal reasons for wanting to do play streets. You can also attach our one page ‘making the case’ document, which is aimed at councils and explains why play streets are a brilliant tool for covid-recovery. Not only do play streets open up space for socially distanced physical activity, but they also support the active travel agenda.

See our top tips for making sure your play street is covid safe.

Who should I tell at the council?

Your local councillors are a good place to start, as it is their job to represent you. However, if they’re not very interested in the idea it might fall flat. So, you could also try looking up the relevant Cabinet Members for your area – just google the name of your council and the words “Cabinet Members”. The ones who might see play streets as part of their job have role titles like:

  • Communities
  • Public healthTwo children cycling
  • Children and families
  • Sport and physical activity
  • Sustainable travel and transport

The other people you could try at the council are your highways team, who might have an existing process for community members to request a road closure. Some areas have a street party application process. You could trial a one-off play street using the existing process first – which is exactly how the first ever play street happened!

To find out what is happening in your local area, check out our Local Authority Directory.

Do you work for a council? Check out our info for councils pages for loads of advice and information, and do let us know if you need any support. Plus, we have a free webinar on 25 March on play streets for covid recovery – sign up here.

One last request…

Let us know if you are keen to get play streets happening in your area as we can help you. We may have been contacted by people in your council area before and be able to link you up. We also want to show how the play street movement is growing, and keep the momentum up, so it’s really useful if we know there are interested people in different areas.

Good luck and here’s to playing out under a hot summer sun soon.

How to run a play street

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