Protesters continue Battersea Park occupation for sixth day

Protesters continue Battersea Park occupation for sixth day

Protesters continue Battersea Park occupation for sixth day

Protesters continue Battersea Park occupation for sixth day

Protesters continue Battersea Park occupation for sixth day

First published in News by , Senior Reporter

Protesters continue their occupation of Battersea adventure playground for a sixth day despite the onset of cold weather.

Occupy London and members of Wandsworth Against Cuts (WAC) have been camping in the playground since Saturday in a bid to save it from demolition.

According to people on the site this morning police have removed padlocks and forced entry into the playground.

The Occupy London Twitter account described the stand off as "peaceful".

On Tuesday Wandsworth Council threatened the group with legal action, while one 'o'clock clubs for children have been cancelled and a neighbouring smaller park was locked up.

The campaign has provoked a mixed response, with the Friends of Battersea Park condemning the group but London Play lending their support.

Katherine Stanley, of Southfields who is part of the Occupy movement, said: "I guess yes it is cold, yes it is uncomfortable, but there is something more important and it is survivable. We have done it before."

Yesterday Francis Radcliffe, chairman of the Friends of Battersea Park, said: "The Friends of Battersea Park do not support the occupation of the adventure playground which has led to the closure of the one o'clock club and the children's playground."

Charity London Play, which campaigns for play services in the capital, said: "London Play is contributing to the campaign to save Battersea Park Adventure Playground, which Wandsworth Council is proposing to  remove and replace with boring, static play equipment which does away with both any play value and the need for staff.

"We cannot afford to watch this essential children's service and the dedicated staff that bring it alive vanish from Battersea Park. Once it's gone, it's gone."

Alex Sykes, community manager of MadeforMums Wandsworth does not want to see the playground go, but said parents need services back to normal.

She said: "At the moment local parents are suffering because of what has now become a purely political debate - we won't get the adventure playground back in it's current form and now we've lost the other facilities too."

It is thought the bulldozers will be moving in on Monday to begin the £200,000 rebuild of the playground.

Councillor Kathy Tracey, cabinet member for children's services, said: "These are well organised protesters with their own agenda.

"We hope that once they have made their point, they will allow us to get on with the work required to reopen the playground."

A spokesperson for the police said: "This morning officers were patrolling the adventure playground area of the park. They removed a lock placed by protesters on the gate there.

"We continue to liaise with the council to bring it to a successful resolution."

Both campaign groups are planning an event at the park on Saturday at 2pm.

Comments (6)

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3:20pm Thu 10 Jan 13

Wandsworth Against Cuts says...

Could someone from the Council confirm that there was already a plan to close the One O'Clock Club in Battersea Park and that Councillors are using the occupation as a cover for yet one more of their cuts along with school crossing patrols, delivery of hot meals on wheels, other youth services, etc?
Could someone from the Council confirm that there was already a plan to close the One O'Clock Club in Battersea Park and that Councillors are using the occupation as a cover for yet one more of their cuts along with school crossing patrols, delivery of hot meals on wheels, other youth services, etc? Wandsworth Against Cuts
  • Score: 0

5:09pm Thu 10 Jan 13

John Lipnicki says...

The formerly staffed adventure playground in York Gardens has already been demolished by Wandsworth Council.
The formerly staffed adventure playground in York Gardens has already been demolished by Wandsworth Council. John Lipnicki
  • Score: 0

6:12pm Thu 10 Jan 13

Simon Rix says...

Adventure playgrounds are unique and essential in modern cities where the average a child is allowed to roam from their front door is 70 yards. To replace an oasis of culture for children with further ersatz fixed equipment shows a disrespect for children and families which voters should take to heart.
Adventure playgrounds are unique and essential in modern cities where the average a child is allowed to roam from their front door is 70 yards. To replace an oasis of culture for children with further ersatz fixed equipment shows a disrespect for children and families which voters should take to heart. Simon Rix
  • Score: 0

7:59pm Thu 10 Jan 13

surreylane says...

these people need the help from local people as they are doing it for you
these people need the help from local people as they are doing it for you surreylane
  • Score: 0

9:10pm Thu 10 Jan 13

adevoce says...

The council will argue that this is an economic necessity but this is not true. It is simply a question of priorities.

Not understanding it, Councillors (and their colleagues in Westminster) place little value on children's culture, which is in their play, even though all of art, sport and engineering begins there. Yet how much do you imagine is spent every year in that park on horticulture?
The council will argue that this is an economic necessity but this is not true. It is simply a question of priorities. Not understanding it, Councillors (and their colleagues in Westminster) place little value on children's culture, which is in their play, even though all of art, sport and engineering begins there. Yet how much do you imagine is spent every year in that park on horticulture? adevoce
  • Score: 0

9:27pm Sun 13 Jan 13

surreylane says...

went to battersea park on sat with my grandson he couldnt use the male toilets as they had been locked by wandsworth council not very nice
went to battersea park on sat with my grandson he couldnt use the male toilets as they had been locked by wandsworth council not very nice surreylane
  • Score: 0

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