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Canterbury City Council uses NLPG to Identify Local Play Area Provision

Posted: 15 March 2011

Canterbury City Council has recently completed an award winning review of its Play Strategy for Canterbury, Whitstable and Herne Bay.
The review was based on national guidelines for play area provision and made innovative use of the National Land and Property Gazetteer (NLPG) to calculate areas where this fell short. The review has already resulted in improvements to six play areas and prioritisation of areas in need of further provision which will be addressed through the planning process.
The Play Strategy review was carried out under the Council's existing Play Strategy and looked at three distinct types of play;
  1. fixed play - facilities, such as equipped play areas, skate parks and ball courts
  2. organised or adult-led play - supervised activities, such as play schemes, children's clubs and youth clubs
  3. casual or child-led play - activities that children and young people create and do on their own, without supervision.

Play England national guidelines were used to determine the required proximity of provision along with household information provided by the NLPG and the location of existing Fixed Play Areas. The Council was able to determine the number and percentage of addresses both with and without access to fixed play areas for each council ward.
The Council identified 5 Gaps in Provision where a ward had little or no fixed play facilities. These were put to the top of a priority list. The remainder of the play areas were assessed against five specific criteria and prioritised accordingly. To date six play areas have already been refurbished with exciting, challenging equipment appropriate to specific age ranges. The Gaps in Provision have been communicated to planners and developers to enable the Council to address the shortage.

Notes to editors:
The NLPG is a joint venture between all local authorities in England and Wales, the Local Government Information House, part of the Local Government Group and Intelligent Addressing Limited.
Intelligent Addressing is an information management specialist and data provider, focusing on land and property data, particularly addresses. As well as being the joint venture partner with local government in the development of the NLPG, IA also manages the national datasets for local government; the NLPG and the National Street Gazetteer (NSG). Data is an essential yet high-cost resource to maintain. IA helps organisations find, utilise and manage the information that they need and provides services to any organisation that depends on the accuracy, manageability and versatility of its information.
Local Government Information House is part of the Local Government Group. LGIH concentrates on core projects that have maximum benefit for the whole of local government. To this end, LGIH focuses on geographical information-related projects, as the standardisation of this type of data affects more than 80 per cent of what local government does. LGIH acts as an intermediary between the public and the private sector enabling it to negotiate with private companies on behalf of local authorities in order to provide key parts of a technical infrastructure for improved service delivery.
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