Today Manchester Green Party has condemned the coalition government’s decision to freeze funding for the Playbuilder scheme. The scheme was set up to fund projects that would enable children and young people to enjoy imaginative, challenging and stimulating play. Coalition cuts have meant that plans to update facilities in Hulme’s Barracks Park are now in real danger of being shelved (1).
Hulme Green activist, Gayle O’Donovan, condemned the cuts: ” playbuilder schemes are being cancelled all over the country. Many were designed by local children and parents, often working with the voluntary sector. This decision doesn’t say much for the government’s big society agenda.”
Christine Shelmerdine, Hulme local activist and member of Friends of Hulme Parks, also added “Local children are devastated about these plans to axe their playbuilder scheme. If we agree and support the U.N.’s International Convention on The Rights of the Child, then we must pay heed to Article 31 which states children have the right to relax, play and join in a wide range of cultural and artistic activities. This money needs to be re-instated so that we can fulfil our promises to the children of Hulme”(2).
Local resident, Cal Harvey also spoke out against the cuts “As chair of the Friends of Hulme Parks I am devastated that the government has seen fit to suspend the money for Playbuilder. The Friends, especially Christine Shelmerdine, have worked very hard with St Georges and Shawgreen’s young people and parents creating a successful bid. The Friends will continue to lobby the government to release the funding for this much needed and wanted play area for local children”.
Hulme Greens’ Gayle O’Donovan called upon the council to provide alternative funding to ensure the Barrack’s Park scheme goes ahead.
“Our Labour leadership in Manchester City Council recently voted down a chance to reclaim £421,000 overpaid to a PR firm, this at a time when local services are being cut and community projects, such as improving Barracks Park, are really struggling to find funding – We feel this decision is unfair.”
“If the government chased people for tax evasion and tax avoidance, they’d be raising billions extra per year and wouldn’t have to resort to massive cuts in public spending which have a bigger impact on places like Hulme.”
For more information contact:
Manchester Green Party 07977488061