The quality of play areas in Sefton is the best in the region.

Sefton Council’s Parks and Greenspaces Service are celebrating after receiving the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) gold standard award and are the only local authority in the North West to receive such a high level.   RoSPA is a registered charity established more than 90 years ago and aims to promote safety and the prevention of accidents in all areas of life – at work, in the home, on the roads, in schools, at leisure and on (or near) water.

They operate an accredited Play Quality Award to rigorously test that playground operators are managing their sites to the highest possible standards. The accreditation involves a detailed application form, disclosure of all accident records and a judging visit to investigate the inspection and repair systems in place.   To win the award, Sefton had to: Provide a robust repair and inspection regimes, prevent accidents and respond to incidents, provide stimulating play provision that has a good play value and demonstrate commitment to inclusion for disabled persons.

Sefton Council manages 55 play sites, 16 ball game areas, two skate parks and has a specific Playground Health and Safety Team that carry out inspections. All these sites were visited as part of the inspections.   Cllr Ian Moncur, Cabinet Member Children, Schools, Families and Leisure, said: “The RoSPA Quality Play Operators Award is the highest accreditation possible for managing children’s play facilities and involves a robust judging process.

“To say we are the only local authority to be awarded the gold accreditation is a great achievement and something we are very proud of. To receive such an award clearly shows the hard work and commitment shown by all our staff.”   As part of the judging process, David Yearley, Head of Play Safety at RoSPA, said: “Sefton Council’s team responsible for the management and operation of its children’s playgrounds continue to show a high standard of effectiveness at its task year on year.

“Systems remain in place to determine the condition of play spaces, including inspection and maintenance regimes. Congratulations are due to all members of staff who are involved in Sefton Council’s play provision.”

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