Tower Hamlets: Children stop play space from being dismantled

Children in east London rushed out of their homes to stop a “safer streets” blockade being ripped out by the council. Parents gathering outside Chisenhale Primary School in Bow say they were given little notice of the “pop-up playground” being removed. The standoff resulted in a temporary victory for the families who want the zone to stay in place.

Armed with umbrellas and wearing wellies, Chisenhale schoolchildren defended their play space. The play space is part of the safer streets scheme which allows only parents of schoolchildren, immediate residents and blue badge holders to drive in the area at school drop-off times.

Parents were first told of plans to remove the area on 21 October, just before half term. Last week, Tower Hamlets Council contractors arrived on Thursday morning to find children climbing on top of the barricades in protest and the space was left intact.

The contractors returned to finish the job on Wednesday night, with children running out in their pyjamas and raincoats to fend them off. To the cheer of protesters, one child lay down on a skateboard before the workers gave up trying to dismantle the planters – a key feature of the safety zone – said parent and campaigner Sarah Gibbons. “It happened so fast – we were shocked to see them come out to take it away in the cover of darkness. Everyone rushed out to try and stop them,” she said. “It was led by the kids; they are very aware not only of safety issues but also how bad the pollution is in this area.”

As well as being a play space, the brightly coloured oasis is used for community events. The space was cordoned off and decorated as a place for children to play in. Year three pupil at Chisenhale, Charlotte, said: “We enjoy playing there before, during and after school.”

Published by charlesghose

Charles Ghose graduated the University Of Greenwich London with a BA in Communications and Media. His university life was very enriched by his very active participation in various University societies. Charles ran the gamut of campus student communities; he was involved with the Politics and Debate Societies, Students Union, and University Of Greenwich Choir, and chamber choir. Charles Ghose acts as an independent contractor working in the very lucrative Freelance Translator Field. He has been hired by various International Humanitarian NGO's, private corporations, and The Overseas Fellowship Mission. Charles has also lead workshops for employers on the theme of mindfulness training courses for the improvement of employee’s health and well-being. Charles is a strong believer that a happy work force adds to higher productivity and loyalty to a company by employees.

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