Active Holidays Leisure and Play Development

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On Friday 26th August, the following post on the Chatbox attracted further comments. Shents kicked off the discussion with:

"This morning, whilst looking on the Cheshire East web site for suitable activities for my son to do, I came across information regarding a 'street sport' event being held on Audlem playing field today from 1pm to 3pm.

"I rang the Sport and Play Development Office to confirm that this was correct. To cut a long story short Cheshire East had not informed the children and young people via schools (the easiest option), no notices were put up on the many village notice boards (perhaps too energetic for sports and play officers), no entry on the Audlem web site, in fact no engagement at all with their potential user group.

"Not only is this a waste of resources, it is also disadvantaging the young people of Audlem and could result in events not being provided in future. Complete incompetence and a waste of council tax. Does anyone know if there is a local parish councillor responsible for young people issues, who may be willing to follow this up?"

An Audlem Parish Councillor is following this up. In the meantime, Audlem Online contacted Cheshire East who responded as follows:

Cheshire East response

“This event was a ‘Love Outdoor Play’ session, which formed part of Cheshire East Council’s ‘Active Holidays Leisure and Play Development Programme’. 

“The event was advertised in the summer edition of the Play Development Programme booklet which was delivered to all primary schools. This booklet was also advertised on the Cheshire East Council website and emailed to all councillors as well as those who had previously attended similar events. 

“None of the events featured in the summer booklet were advertised individually but this may be something to consider in the future.”

Comment

We had a look at Cheshire East's website and concluded that Shents was pretty determined to have found the announcement. We only got there by typing 'Love Outdoor Play' in to the Search box, which presupposes you know exactly what you are looking for.

Similarly, you would need dedication of a high order to find the information about Audlem hidden away in the very detailed booklet — which we have downloaded and you can find by clicking on the link below the photo. The Audlem information we found is at the bottom of Page 10.

Call us old-fashioned, but does children's play now have to be pre-organised by a council's 'Active Holidays Leisure and Play Development Programme' by the Cheshire East Sport and Play Development Office?

Also, given that the programme is so thinly spread across half of Cheshire, and so poorly promoted, is it something that is a vital, and presumably quite expensive service for a Council to provide? And if it is so vital, why does the title have to be quite so long!

Your comments would be very welcome either by email or on the Chatbox.