Surrey

Stanwell play schemes completed before government cuts

Playground
Image caption Grants for community play schemes have been frozen across England

Two playground projects in Surrey were completed before the government froze funding for play equipment, a council has said.

Spelthorne Council said it spent all its funds by the end of 2009 on an adventure playground and a play area in Stanwell.

Last month, Education Secretary Michael Gove froze grants for building and running 1,300 community play schemes.

The government said it had inherited unrealistic spending commitments.

BMX facility shelved

Councillor Denise Grant, cabinet member for young people, said she was pleased the council managed to make full use of its Playbuilder funding.

She said all other Surrey authorities, apart from Tandridge council, lost their cash.

The two projects completed were the adventure playground for older children at Stanwell Moor Recreation Ground and the play area for younger children at Nuthatch Close.

Last month, Epsom council said the cuts led to a BMX facility at Hook Road Arena being shelved.

In August, a Department for Education spokesman said play was important for children and families, but investment had to be realistic and affordable.

In his letter to the heads of children's services, Mr Gove named play as a key area affected by his department's contribution to reducing the public deficit.

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