Occupy Battersea!

This weekend, the Occupy movement came to my back yard. And they are very welcome. My back yard, since I live in a block of flats and have no garden, is Battersea Park. And the bit of my back yard that’s currently occupied is the Adventure Playground, closed by Wandsworth Council in September, and due for demolition tomorrow. The Adventure Playground, which was staffed by qualified play leaders, for more than 50 years provided a safe and nurturing environment for local children and young people, many from deprived or troubled backgrounds, or simply growing up in tower blocks with little other access to outside play areas. The decision by Wandsworth Council to make the staff redundant and convert the Adventure Playgrounds (York Road and Kimber Road playgrounds have suffered the same fate) to unstaffed sites with risk-free equipment was made in the face of significant local opposition. I’ve been involved, on a small scale, in the campaign to keep the Adventure Playgrounds staffed, leafletting and collecting signatures for a petition, which thousands have signed. Many people have stories and fond memories of the Adventure Playground making a difference to generations of local families. And the wider community sees the value of a space where youngsters can build social skills and expend energy in a supervised – but not overtly authoritarian – environment. But not Wandsworth Council, which seems hell-bent on proving its Tory cost-cutting credentials. A short-sighted and small-minded decision, which is going to adversely impact marginalised and vulnerable youngsters. The occupation of the Adventure Playground is a last ditch attempt to stop the bulldozers – and stop this council-sponsored act of vandalism. Here’s to Battersea Park People’s Adventure Playground!

Occupy Battersea Park Adventure Playground
Occupy Battersea Park Adventure Playground
Our Council Doesn’t Care
Battersea Park People’s Adventure Playgound

2 thoughts on “Occupy Battersea!

  1. Pingback: demolition blues « hilaire

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