Serving the people of Steeton and Eastburn

PLAY PARK CONSULTATION: Clear message – residents want investment

PLAY PARK CONSULTATION: Clear message – residents want investment

It won't come as a surprise to anyone living here but investing in local play equipment is clearly a very popular priority for those participating in the recent Steeton and Eastburn Play Park Consultation .

Whilst families are using local park provision because it is convenient, they don't value the offering. There is clear evidence that they will travel out of the area to visit better quality parks. Residents prefer parks with better maintained and a greater variety of equipment. The poor state of equipment at Steeton Rec and Eastburn Playing Field is a concern to residents and one which they would support investment into improving.

Steeton-with-Eastburn Parish Council have forwarded the full report to Bradford Council, who install and maintain the play equipment at Keighley Road Rec. and also hold the purse strings on releasing developer contributions to fund investment at Eastburn Playing Fields.

A summary of the 21 page report which makes sober reading is a follows:

Which Parks do residents use/don't use and why?: The research showed that residents do use local parks with over one-third (34%) of respondents using Steeton Rec at least once a week. Roughly one-fifth of respondents used Eastburn Playing Fields, Sutton Play Park Area and The Hubbub at least once a week (23%, 20% and 20%, respectively).

Over two-thirds (70%) of the respondents to the surveys indicated that they had used the Sutton Park Play Area. The next most frequently accessed park was Skipton Aireville Park at 57%, followed by The HUBBUB (Steeton Hub) at 45%. The two least used were Lister Park and Northcliffe Park, at 4% and 3% respectively.

Respondents to the online survey were asked whether there were any play parks they do not like to use. Almost one-fifth (19%) identified Steeton Rec as one they chose not to go to, followed by 17% of respondents identifying Lister Park, Northcliffe Park (14%) and both Eastburn Playing Fields and The Hubbub at 13%.

Looking specifically at the feedback provided about Steeton Rec and Eastburn Playing Fields, poorly maintained equipment, broken glass and dog mess were key criticisms. The redeeming feature for both of these parks was their convenience to residents. Comments were also made about the importance of having equipment that was accessible to children and young people with disabilities. The Hubbub was viewed more positively, as the equipment is better maintained. However, it was limited in its use to the youngest children.

Who uses the play parks, when and how do they get there?: In terms of the age of the children respondents took to the play park, over half (54%) of respondents identified that they took children aged 4 to 7 years old, whilst similar levels indicated that they took children aged 0 to 3 years old and 8 to 11 years old, at 41% and 40% respectively.

In terms of the times of day people accessed their favourite play park, weekends were more popular than during the week, with 1pm to 5pm the most popular time of the day in both categories. Early morning use was most consistent across week days and weekends.

Asked how they usually travel to their favourite play park, over half (58%) of the respondents to the online survey indicated that they drive. Only 1% of respondents caught the bus, whilst 31% are travelling on foot.

What is the community aspiration for play equipment going forward?: In terms of shaping future investment in the play park to best meet the needs of the local community, the research identified the following key factors for consideration:

Respondents to the online survey were asked what it was they liked about their favourite park. Respondents like parks that are clean and well maintained, with emphasis on safety and having secure enclosed areas for young children.

In terms of the feedback from the focus groups, security was the strongest theme articulated by parents participating in this study. Parents, particularly of Primary School aged children were very keen for parks to be fenced off, so that children couldn't run out into the road. Good visibility was also important, particularly in areas where children of different ages would play in different parts of the park.

From the childrens' perspective they liked a good variety of equipment, both contemporary and traditional. Equipment that facilitated imaginative play was also a strong theme.

During the group discussion with parents, one person spoke of the needs of their autistic child. Ensuring that equipment, like swings and climbing frames could potentially be used by young adults was something the respondent wanted the Parish Council to consider as part of this project, as was their preference for outdoor gym equipment, accessible to adults.

When asked about what is important to a family's outdoor time together, safe play equipment scored very highly with 94% of respondents to the online survey rating this as Very important, whilst the quality and maintenance of that equipment was also rated Very important by 91%. This finding was also supported by the qualitative discussions which highlighted the importance of equipment being safe and in good condition, as well as regularly checked.

When asked whether they had a preference for traditional play park equipment or adventurous activity equipment, half of the respondents to the online survey (50%) indicated a preference for a mixture of both, whilst over one-fifth (22%) preferred adventurous equipment options.

Posted: Wed, 28 Jun 2023 16:55 by Su Thompson

Tags: Community, Consultation