Friday, June 08, 2007

Let's Play!

Today was D-day for the organisations large and small which had applied to be part of the Borough's bid to BIG lottery for play facilities. There were some really exciting bids - some large scale designed to benefit thousands of children and young people over the course of a year, others much smaller designed to revitalise play in smaller communities. Almost all of them had some potential to improve and extend play for our younger citizens. Unfortunately not all of them could be included in the bid, because we can only have just over £480,00 and some of that has to cover the administration costs of managing and monitoring. 15 of us, aged from teens to sixties, gathered to try to choose between them. We spent over 4 hours reading, discussing, calculating and re-calculating. In the end we had a portfolio of possible bids, which if successful have the potential to improve facilities right across the borough. The next few months will involve hard work on the part of all the bidders to work out the details and submit the final bids. They won't work miracles but there will be little bits of help where there was nothing before.
Here in the ward we're trying to decide how to spend the small environmental improvements budget - who would have thought it so difficult to spend. The trouble is that many of the things people in the ward have said they'd like aren't suitable for this budget for one reason or another. We may come down to a mix of bulb planting for spring colour and dropped kerbs to make life a bit easier for pedestrians with prams, wheeled suitcases and the like as well as people in wheelchairs and motorised scooters. We can't easily consult on extra lights when streets don't get dark until very late at night, so that will have to wait until later in the year.

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