Decision details

Scrutiny Review of Outdoor Play Provision - Final Report of the Crime and Disorder Select Committee

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes


Consideration was given to a report that presented the outcomes of the Crime and Disorder Select Committee’s review of Outdoor Play Provision.




1. SBC ensures both revenue and renewal considerations are an intrinsic part of any existing and future outdoor play space proposal within the Borough to maximise the long-term sustainability of such sites.


2. To encourage a greater sense of community ownership, consideration be given to approaching relevant Town / Parish Councils and the local business community within the vicinity of existing outdoor play spaces to potentially support the development / maintenance of a site.


3. Regarding future proposals by developers for new outdoor play spaces, SBC does not adopt any site installed by a developer which contravenes the key outcomes from this review.


4. SBC considers support of existing play areas before any additional outdoor play spaces are agreed / approved.


5. Regarding inequality of outdoor play provision across the Borough, SBC clarifies where it is deemed there is little / no provision and possible steps to address these inequalities (including, in exceptional cases, the provision of new play spaces).


6. As part of a required rationalisation process in relation to the existing outdoor play offer:


a) Informed by the recent (March 2024) RoSPA assessments and an analysis of the distribution of existing outdoor play provision, proposals for the removal / repurposing of sites be developed with the aim of reducing pressure on the overall parks budget.


b) Complementing sub-section a), SBC undertakes a piece of work around those sites requiring more urgent attention to ascertain costs of either removing the play area or raising it to an appropriate standard.


c) Further detail be provided around the anticipated longer-term maintenance requirements of the new Stockton waterfront park and the impact that this may have on the available funds for maintaining other existing outdoor play spaces.


d) With due regard to the SBC Powering Our Future initiative, appropriate consultation (particularly with Stockton Parent Carer Forum and SBC Ward Councillors) is conducted around any proposed changes to existing outdoor play provision.


7. Reflecting the main outcomes from this review, SBC develops and publishes an outdoor play provision strategy which includes the following elements:


• The Council’s aims in relation to the provision of outdoor play spaces.


• The locations and assessments of existing and outdoor play provision, as well as any planned developments.


• The key challenges associated with providing these spaces.


• How the Council will seek to address these key challenges (including guiding principles).


• Timelines for action and who will be accountable.


8. This final report be shared with the SBC Planning Committee for information only.


3. Reasons for the Decision


This topic was included on the Scrutiny Work Programme for 2023-2024. Although not explicitly crime and disorder related, this piece of work was allocated to the Crime and Disorder Select Committee in order to balance the distribution of scrutiny topics across the five themed Select Committees. The review is now complete, and the recommendations have been endorsed by the Crime and Disorder Select Committee for submission to Cabinet.


4. Alternative Options Considered and Rejected




5. Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest




6. Details of any Dispensations




7. Date and Time by which Call In must be executed


Midnight Friday 24 May 2024



Proper Officer

Publication date: 16/05/2024

Date of decision: 16/05/2024

Decided at meeting: 16/05/2024 - Cabinet

Effective from: 25/05/2024

Accompanying Documents: