Info for councils

1. Build your team

Street play is a cross-departmental project, so you need a steering group who meet a few times a year to monitor progress.

You should first decide which department will ‘own’ and champion the play street scheme. This should be a team who are enthusiastic and really understand the benefits for children and communities and for whom street play will contribute to their strategic priorities – perhaps public health, active travel or communities.

You will need your highways team on board to help decide how you will process road closure applications. In some councils, there is one highways officer responsible for processing applications and responding to enquiries. However, highways teams can be very busy and it can work better to have someone in a more public-facing role (e.g. communities team) dealing with the majority of the application process, with highways simply rubber stamping the Temporary Play Street Order.Stewards team briefing

You will need someone from your communications team to be involved to get a page onto your website (see below for a list of good existing council websites) and help with promoting the policy to residents.)

If you have parent activators or early adopters who have lobbied for play streets or helped to grow the idea, you must support and involve them as much as possible – they are gold dust! They will be the best people to tell you what works from a resident’s viewpoint and to help the idea spread peer-to-peer.

In some areas, play streets are facilitated by a third sector community organisation or a dedicated parent-led group, such as in North Tyneside. If this is the case, they will also be key allies and stakeholders.