Agenda and minutes

Crime and Disorder Select Committee - Thursday 9th November, 2023 4.30 pm

Venue: Jim Cooke Conference Suite, Stockton Central Library, Stockton-on-Tees, TS18 1TU

Contact: Scrutiny Support Officer Rachel Harrison 

No. Item


Evacuation Procedure pdf icon PDF 9 KB


The evacuation procedure was noted.


Declarations of Interest


There were no interests declared.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 79 KB

To approve the minutes of the last meeting held on 19 October 2023.


Consideration was given to the minutes of the Crime and Disorder Select Committee meeting which was held on 19 October 2023 for approval and signature.


AGREED that the minutes of the Committee meeting held on 19 October 2023 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.


Scrutiny Review of Outdoor Play Provision: Quality and Distribution, Maintenance, and Physical Accessibility pdf icon PDF 103 KB

To receive information from relevant Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council departments in relation to this scrutiny topic.

Additional documents:


Following the Committee’s approval of the scope and plan for the Outdoor Play Provision review at the last meeting in October 2023, this first evidence-gathering session involved initial submissions from the Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council (SBC) Community Services, Environment and Culture directorate.


Introduced by the SBC Head of Environment, Leisure & Green Infrastructure, and supported by the SBC Strategy & Greenspace Development Manager, the session began by analysing maps and lists of existing informal sports facilities and play areas.  Regarding the former, there was a variety of provision across the Borough, mostly involving multi-use games areas (MUGAs) which were sometimes accompanied by outdoor gyms and / or skateparks.  Kick walls and / or other surfaced games areas were also highlighted, as was one third-party MUGA in Billingham.


Consideration was then given to the spread of play areas across Stockton-on-Tees, with the mapping of the different types of provision supplemented by the 2018 ‘play value’ assessments for ‘toddler’, ‘junior’ and ‘teen’ categories.  Members noted that there seemed to be no reference to the Morley Carr, Yarm site which was linked to a housing development – it was acknowledged that, to ensure accuracy, colleagues from the Planning Team may need to provide input regarding knowledge of any additional play area facilities which were in the pipeline.


A presentation giving more detail around the current position in relation to the Borough’s play areas and informal sports facilities followed.  Led by the SBC Head of Environment, Leisure & Green Infrastructure, and again supported by the SBC Strategy & Greenspace Development Manager, areas covered included:


           Existing portfolio

           Classification of play areas: destination, neighbourhood, and doorstep

           Play value

           Types of informal sport provision

           Inequalities in provision


The terminology used to classify play areas was outlined, as were examples of each type.  As larger facilities within parks, ‘destination’ sites served a wide catchment area and had been invested in considerably by SBC in recent years, offering a wide variety of equipment that provided good ‘play value’ for a range of users from toddlers to teenagers.  ‘Neighbourhood’ sites were mainly situated within larger green spaces of a community (with a more moderate quantity of equipment), whereas ‘doorstep’ sites were smaller facilities which were located on green space or self-contained zones within housing areas (many of which had been installed by housing developers).  It was noted that there was variance even within these three categories (for example, one site within the Borough contains just a single slide).


In terms of ‘play value’, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) had developed an industry-standard methodology for assessing the quality and variety of play experiences – this considers the value of equipment across age-ranges, as well as the characteristics and quality of the site itself (e.g. landscape, infrastructure, access).  Scores for each of the Borough’s sites were included within the SBC submission for this evidence session, though it was noted that these assessments were quite dated (2018) and would need to be re-evaluated to provide an accurate picture of  ...  view the full minutes text for item CD/21/23


Chair's Update and Select Committee Work Programme 2023-2024 pdf icon PDF 194 KB


Chair’s Update


The Chair had no further updates.


Work Programme 2023-2024


Consideration was given to the current Crime and Disorder Select Committee Work Programme.  The next meeting was scheduled for 21 December 2023 and would focus on the second evidence-gathering for the review of Outdoor Play Provision.  A further update on progress of the outstanding actions in relation to the previously completed Bonfires on Public Land review was also anticipated.


AGREED that the Crime and Disorder Select Committee Work Programme 2023-2024 be noted.