FMQs 14th June 2011 – Play Strategy

Mark Drakeford: A yw Llywodraeth Cymru yn bwriadu diweddaru ei strategaeth chwarae yn ystod y tymor Cynulliad hwn.  
[Does the Welsh Government plan to update its play strategy during this Assembly term.] 

The First Minister: Every child has the right to play; it is an essential part of growing up and enriches the lives of children. Wales has led the way in promoting play and supporting play opportunities for children and young people. The Deputy Minister for Children and Social Services will set out our priorities for play in due course.   
Mark Drakeford: Successive Welsh Governments have emphasised the importance of play in promoting a child’s development, culminating in the foundation phase. Are you able to provide an assurance that, in any work on the strategy, Wales will not follow the lead of that flagship Conservative local authority in Wandsworth in charging children for the use of play facilities? Can you also assure us that children in Wales will continue, in the words of the strategy, to be ‘free to play’, not free to pay, where access to these essential public services is concerned?   

The First Minister: I assure you that we have no intention of introducing charges for the use of playgrounds in Wales. We would be dismayed if any Welsh local authority followed the lead of Wandsworth. Charging children for playgrounds: how low can you get?