Saturday, 17 April 2010

All work and no play...

At last, a blog about the brilliant 'bus trip around the playgrounds' I went on a few weeks back (sorry, I've again been too busy out meeting people and doing things to actually write them up!).

Haringey Council set up a bus trip around various exemplary playgrounds a few weeks ago, and I went along as a Friend of Stationer's Park. The German-built wooden playfort in Stationer's is fantastic but it's falling apart, and residents are keen to see it replaced with another wooden structure. I often take my daughter to the playfort and I agree.

We toured playgrounds in Waltham Forest, Hackney, Camden and Tower Hamlets and saw some fantastic places. Playgrounds that had been built in part by the kids who play in them, giving them a sense of ownership. Spaces that catered for people of all ages, including stuff for bored teenage to get involved with. And brilliant builds which incorporated trees into the structure, as seen in the picture above.

Friends of Stationer's Park (FoSP) are doing a great job in applying for funding, and this outing gave us loads of ideas on what to spending it on, should we be granted some cash.

I overheard one council worker saying a councillor, who shall remain nameless, recently claimed that "play isn't a priority." I find this outrageous. How can encouraging children to explore the outdoors, get exercise, socialise and appreciate nature not be important? Parents too reap the benefits of play areas, as they provide us with social hubs where we meet and converse with other parents - all for free. And if play areas give teens something to do as well, we're cutting down on so-called 'anti-social behaviour', to use a new Labourism.

If elected in May I am going to support FoSP in every way I can in securing funding for the project. Other areas of the ward could benefit from new play equipment too, notibly Carlton Lodge, where new equipment has apparently been promised for years.

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