Education & Family

Scrapped playgrounds: Your comments

Hundreds of playground developments in England are being mothballed as the Department for Education cuts funding for them.

Readers of the BBC News website have been sending us their thoughts on this story. Here is a selection of their comments.

Samantha Birket hopes to build a new playground in Oxfordshire

The new playground we were promised a grant for was never just about swings and slides, it was about extending the work of an arts centre and enhancing the local community.

We are a small group of people working on the project using local talent. The school children were involved in the design and a local church in Cowley kindly donated its garden for us to build the playground on.

On 6 May, after months of work as a voluntary coordinator on the project, we were told that it was successful and we told that we would receive funding.

Now we are in the middle of August and we still don't know whether we can go ahead.

After all the government's talk of 'big society', we are bitterly disappointed to be in this situation.

Catherine Warwick sent us a picture of a playground in West Yorkshire

Image caption Catherine Warwick's son enjoying a play area

Here is my one year old son enjoying the recently refurbished playground at St Ives Estate, Bingley, West Yorkshire.

This playground was decrepit and unused in the 1970s but over the last 18 months, it has secured funding and has been renovated into a wonderful children's area.

It is always busy and has hugely boosted visitor numbers to the council run grounds as well.

It seems such a shame that other areas will lose out.

More comments

Parents don't let their kids go out to play anyway. Playgrounds that already exist near me are mostly empty or vandalised. Save the money. Ian H, Aberdeen

I have small children, and we were hoping to have our local playground re-equipped, something it desperately needs. I would much rather see the 'free milk scheme' scrapped, at least in areas where there is no deprivation. Surely if we have all these over weight small children what they need is play ground equipment rather than more nutrition? Catherine, Oxfordshire

Image caption Samantha Birket's plan was approved in May

What is wrong with putting two coats on the grass in the park and kicking a ball between the 'goals' with friends? Slides and swings get used once or twice and are then forgotten. A ball is the best investment for kids; it gets used over and over. It also promotes social interaction. Richard, Richmond, Surrey

I would have expected the Tories to say that contracts once entered into are sacrosanct. Surely tearing up a contract would leave councils open to being sued left, right and centre? If we assume that the government needs to make cuts, I personally would have gone for other targets, such as Trident. Alex Flegmann, Great Offley, Hertfordshire

I know people will be saddened by this but in reality there need to be cuts and I know I would prefer to lose playgrounds over hospitals. Dave, Exeter, Devon

What I don't understand is why there is money for the 'free schools' scheme if there's no money for carrying out planned rebuilding of dilapidated school buildings, and planned building of play areas. Catriona, Stockport

The government is surely making a real mistake. There has been a rediscovery of the importance of playing - it is this generation of young people who will carry the country forward into a difficult future. Let's encourage their resourcefulness in every way we can. Penny Harper, Sutton, Coldfield

As a child you can play anywhere, all you need is a friend and a football. As a society, we have allowed treats to somehow get upgraded in our mind to necessities. Now the money has run out, they will have to be treats once more. Scott, Reigate

Is the government trying to cancel everything the previous government put in place just to start their own projects in time for the next general election? Playgrounds are cheap but have a huge benefit for the local community. Claudine Edwards, Derby

The fact that children have designed the playgrounds means they should go ahead. And if a contract has been entered into, it should also go ahead. How are private companies supposed to create millions of jobs if government departments tear up legal commitments? Jo Ince, London

The government talks about the 'big society' but fails to understand that a big society needs a strong state to support it. This penny-pinching is ripping the heart out of society, not building it up. And it is undermining the economy as well. Ken Harris, Swanbourne, Buckinghamshire