Hebden Bridge MP urges Calderdale to bid for Extra Funding for Play Areas

Chris McCafferty, MP for the Calder Valley has written to the leader of Calderdale Council, Cllr Ann McAllister, to urge the Council to take up the opportunity to bid to become a 'Play Pathfinder'.

Calderdale is one of 65 councils that have been invited to become Play Pathfinders. If successful, the Council will receive Government funding of £2m capital and £0.5m revenue. Even if the bid is unsuccessful, the Council could still be awarded up to  £1m of capital funding towards investment in play facilities.

Chris has told the Hebden Bridge Web:

"The Government has invited Calderdale to bid for major investment in play facilities in the Borough. If the Council is successful, it will receive funding of approximately two million pounds for play areas, backed up by half a million pounds of revenue funding.

"The funding is being offered to encourage Councils to do more to create play areas that are exciting and imaginative, and will really engage children particularly those aged between 8 and 13.

"When I talk to parents, I know that there are real concerns that this group misses out on vital support - there is a lot going on for young children, but there is a real gap in activities for this age group. Our changing society makes it harder for children to play out in their streets and neighbourhoods, so good play areas are more important than ever.

"This is a real opportunity to make a difference in Calderdale, and I really hope that the Council will be able to put in a strong bid to take advantage of the funding that is on offer."

Labour's spokesperson on Children and Young People's Services, Cllr Megan Swift, is backing Chris McCafferty's call. Cllr Swift said: "I think this is a great chance to make a difference in Calderdale. There is already a programme of investment in play areas, but this can only deal with one or two a year - if we are successful, this will mean that we can improve play facilities across the Borough within a relatively short period of time. I'm glad that the Labour government is recognising how important it is that we have safe and exciting places for children to play, and hope we can take advantage of this locally."