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Getting your council on board

In order to enable you to play out regularly, the local authority needs to put a road closure application process in place to allow residents to close their streets.

We have lots of useful information on our website to help authorities do this, but one of the most important factors is enthusiastic residents lobbying for it. We’ve included a template letter below, to help with this.

In some cases councils have introduced pilot scheme to allow the idea to happen on one or two streets first. Some local authority areas are harder to win over than others, but as the evidence mounts on the benefits of street play, and more and more councils are putting street play policies in place, it is getting easier and easier.

Helpful People 

  • Local Councillor – a good starting point. E-mail or phone them and link to our website – invite them to a playing out session
  • Community Leaders and Community Groups
  • Schools
  • Pedestrian/Cycle groups
  • Public Health professionals

Key Information to Share

  • There is good evidence of the benefits for children and communities: University of Bristol report and Playing Out’s own survey. 
  • This film about playing out on one Bristol street went viral on Facebook in November 2017 with 8 million views in one week –it’s a popular idea.
  • Last year the Department for Transport wrote to all local authorities endorsing play streets. You can read more download the letter below under ‘Useful lobbying tools’, and read more at this page.
  • Tell the council that residents do most of the work themselves, so you can get on with it once the council has put the policy in place.
  • Playing Out is here to help them. We provide advice and guidance for local authorities and are happy to talk to them. We have a ‘home’ page filled with lots of useful information for local authorities, and can put them in touch with others who can share useful documents with them.

Build Support among other residents

  • Use your own street as a launch pad for the idea – call a meeting and build support for the idea there.
  • Publicise your first session a bit more widely than you would normally to generate interest.
  • If your council doesn’t allow you to close the road, either organise a ‘pavement play’ session as a first step.
  • Or, organize a session as a street party

Kathryn Kay, Adur and Worthing playing out activator, advises: “Prove to your council that other streets are interested in playing out too. I think if it had just been me in Worthing, they wouldn’t have been so quick to act. I had a handful of people interested prior to the pilot”.

 Useful lobbying tools:

We can help:

We are very happy to talk to your Council too, and give them information, support and advice on helping residents to play out: