Welsh Assembly Votes to Back Vikki’s Inclusive Play Proposal

A call from Cynon Valley Assembly Member Vikki Howells for the National Assembly for Wales to note her proposal for a new law to promote inclusive play has been backed unanimously by AMs.

The AM had tabled a Motion to note her proposal for an inclusive play Bill. Such a Bill would aim to improve inclusive play opportunities by placing a duty on local authorities so that they must provide play equipment that meets the needs of children with disabilities.

During her speech, Vikki Howells spoke about the important role play fulfils in promoting physical, mental and emotional wellbeing, but spoke of the barriers that could prohibit children with disabilities from enjoying the same opportunities as their peers.

The Assembly Member, noting that Wales was the first country in the world to legislate to give children the right to play, said her proposal would strengthen the rules by extending the same rights to children with disabilities.

Vikki Howells AM said:-

“Whilst Wales has brought in world-leading measures to promote the right to play, it is clear that not all children are enjoying the same opportunities.

“In particular, children with disabilities can face considerable barriers in accessing play, which can impact on their health and wellbeing, their parents confidence to let them play and their ability to mix with their peers.

“My proposal would have strengthened the duties on local authorities to provide play opportunities for children with disabilities.

“I am grateful colleagues unanimously backed my proposal, but it is important to note that this will not lead to any change in the law.

“However, I welcome the supportive comments from Children’s Minister Huw Irranca-Davies, around recognising good practice where councils already provide for children with disabilities, sharing information and for the publication of play sufficiency assessments.

“I look forward to monitoring progress so that every child in Wales enjoys an equal right to play”.