Woodchip, or Pebbles ?

I have 2 small gardens, each measuring aprox 20*6 Ft.
The soil is shocking quality...heavy, with a foot covering of soil ove some building rubble, and some sort of plastic sheet about just over foot down. Drainage is poor, and the front garden is fairly exposed t high winds in winter. The grass grows slowly, and is very weedy.
I am thinking of removing the top layer, and putting woodchip o pebbles down as a weed suppressant, and making it so we don't get we feet when we hang out the washing !
Are there any pros and cons to these ideas, or can anyone think o other ideas please
-- concussed
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