Sunday, May 15, 2011

Play-that'll be £2.50 please?

Imagine a world where feeling like playing in a park you had to ask Mommy for money to go and do that?
Well this is the possibility for residents in the Wandsworth area of London, England where Wandsworth Council have decided to start this - they call it a trail -  at the weekends from September
In Battersea you see there is this park which the council say contains high tech equipment including zip wires, climbing walls and large wooden balancing structures requires constant adult supervision to keep children safe and in order to save money local Councillors (the grown ups who make decisions about money and stuff) decided to levy this charge.
The amount of money the council charges grown ups for its services is the lowest of any council in England and some have suggested that frankly they could afford to charge a tidgy bit more to avoid this (it's only £222,000 per year to run).
But as ever with grown ups things  get a littler cloudier where another justification is offered namely that it's to attempt to keep out people who don't live in that part of London which is odd when you consider when the super big Greater London Council before it was abolished owned this part with the idea it was for all London's children.
Former London Mayor, Ken Livingstone has criticized the idea as creating two classes of children - those who can afford to play and those who can't - and only the kind of idea the ruling Conservatives on the council could propose.
While in its defence clearly the case that unlike a number of authorities they are improving the facilities rather than closing down parks and play areas, it does seem quite unfair that children without that money cannot play there.
What do you think?

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