Council support for street play
“This year’s trial has been a complete success and I expect the play street scheme to go from strength to strength. I urge roads/communities who have not yet given it a go to try one. Their children will be thanking them for the rest of the year as will other less visible members of their community. This is a win, win scheme, give it a try.” Cllr Tom Wye, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, Adur and Worthing Councils.
Are you a local authority officer or elected member looking for a low-cost, resident-led way to get children physically active and strengthen communities? Join the growing number of councils supporting street play across the UK. This page connects you to what you need to know:
- Why street play?
- Six ways councils can support it
- The public health case
- FAQs for local authorities
- What we offer
- Newsletter for local authorities
- Three Useful Case Studies
The benefits of regular resident-led playing out sessions – both for children and whole street communities – align with the priorities of local authorities. This is a very simple, low-cost way to get children physically active, increase neighbourliness, and grow active citizenship. Most of the work is done by residents, with support from Playing Out and local organisations. The council simply needs to make it easy for people to get on with it. You can read more about impact and evidence here.
- A simple application procedure with no charge
- A clear point of contact for residents
- Road closure signs and other kit provided
- Promotion to parents and residents
- Signposting to Playing Out and local support.
- Strong, vocal political support
Legal Basis for play streets
The Department for Transport last year wrote to all UK councils encouraging them to support play streets and advising them about which legal routes to use. They followed this up by publishing updated guidance on temporary traffic regulation orders for play streets (scroll down to point 4).
Hands-on support for streets
Some councils have also provided officer support or found pots of funding for local groups to give direct, peer-support to streets, which can make a huge difference to the number of street communities able to benefit, especially in areas of higher need.
Playing Out grew out of the actions of parents in Bristol and is now growing a grassroots movement across the UK. Since 2009, we have been developing and testing the model of resident-led street play that is now spreading across the country. Through our work in Bristol – leading to over 200 streets playing out in the city – as well as supporting residents and councils across the UK, we have a good understanding of what makes it work at a local level and want to support any interested local authorities to get it right.
We can offer:
- Simple Best Practice guidelines for councils
- Street play toolkit for local authorities
- Free resources and support for residents (including this website and a national peer-support network)
- Help with publicity and promotion
- Workshops and Training – contact us for details
- Kit boxes and materials
- Newsletter for professionals (click the link to sign up)
- Individual help: 0117 9537167 / firstname.lastname@example.org
- Expert advice from Bristol and other councils
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How the Playing Out model was created and implemented in Bristol, a unitary authority.
Adur and Worthing
The story of how a street play policy was implemented in Adur and Worthing. It includes very useful links to the officer’s report.
How one woman worked to get Hackney to implement street play, and details of how it works in a London Borough.