Buckinghamshire residents can apply for street closures to encourage children's play

New figures show less than half of children in the county are completing their recommended activity levels
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Residents in Buckinghamshire are being encouraged to apply for street closures which will enable children to socialise and play together.

Bucks Council is adopting a national initiative that will see streets closed temporarily for youngster play schemes.

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Called, Play Streets, residents can obtain permission, free of charge, to close their road for a few hours so households can play together.

Residents can apply nowResidents can apply now
Residents can apply now

It is part of a national scheme designed to reduce social isolation and encourage children to lower their screen time and stay active.

Although the roads are closed during these play times people will still be able to walk through the area, Bucks Council has advised.

Councillor Angela Macpherson said: “Playing with friends outside your house is something many of us may remember doing when we were younger, but it has become less popular in recent years. Play Streets seeks to bring back that simple enjoyment and allow communities to stop for a moment and spend some time together. It allows all generations, not just children to get involved, helping to boost community spirit and neighbourhood bonds.”

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Bucks Council has released countywide figures in relation to how isolated children feel post-Covid and the need to improve fitness amongst youngsters:

-Only 48% of children and young people are reaching recommended activity levels of 60 minutes of activity per day.

-Over 30% of children aged 10-11 years old are above a healthy weight.

-Levels of loneliness rose more in Buckinghamshire than the national average during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly one quarter (24%) of adults felt lonely at least some of the time in 2021.

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Councillor Macpherson added: “Activities like this have a positive impact on both our mental and physical health. Encouraging children to play outside means they are getting exercise and moving around rather than sitting down in-front of a screen, and for adults, we can spend so much time caught up in day-to-day activities that we forget the boost you get having a relaxed catch up with a neighbour, and the benefits that standing up and moving around more can have.”

Families are encouraged to apply now to ensure their requests can be completed in time for the warmer months. More details can be found online.