Green councillors this week welcomed a public deputation to the Children, Young People and Skills Committee calling for the Playbus service in the city to be saved.
The Playbus carries a wide range of equipment to facilitate indoor and outdoor play activities, and has a programme of daily after-school visits to Council estates in the city. The Playbus also serves as the focal point of a comprehensive programme of activities over the summer holidays to support families and children. The service is free, inclusive and open to everyone.
The deputation was presented by a group of 12 parents and users of the Playbus who stressed the importance of the service for families who couldn’t afford to travel to or pay for other services. The group urged the council to ensure the service continues to be provided.
Green councillor and member of the Children, Young People and Skills, Amanda Knight, said:
“The Play bus is an incredibly important resource and an example of just how progressive and forward thinking the city can be. The service won a prestigious national award for Best play work team in March 2015, when it was highly praised for its innovation and importance in promoting social cohesion in the city.
“The Play bus is highly valued by parents for the opportunities it provides to kids to mix with their peers locally and engage in a wide range of indoor and outdoor play activities. The facilitation by skilled playworkers mean kids learn vital social and problem-solving skills and are better equipped to succeed in the future.
“Cuts to the Playbus will be felt massively on top of cuts to children centres and increasing costs of welfare reform in the most deprived areas. Cutting it would just be another example of short-sighted austerity measures which drive up long-term costs.
“The Playbus provides enormous value for money and is a lifeline for struggling families. We are keen to work with all parties to explore how we can continue to provide this vital service”.