Protesters occupying Battersea Park adventure playground ordered to leave by judge

Wandsworth Guardian: Protesters occupying Battersea Park adventure playground ordered to leave by judge Protesters occupying Battersea Park adventure playground ordered to leave by judge

Protesters occupying Battersea Park adventure playground have been ordered to leave by a judge.

Occupy London and Wandsworth Against Cuts (WAC) have been camping inside the playground for almost a fortnight in a bid to save it from demolition.

It comes after the council announced it is refurbishing the playground with new equipment, removing the need for play supervisors.

Wandsworth Council were granted order of possession of the playground today at Wandsworth County Court, which could mean bailiffs will be moving in to remove squatters soon.

The protesters vowed to continue their fight and are seeking a judicial review at the High Court.

Kris O'Donnell, who represented Occupy London, tried to use articles 10 and 11 of the Human Convention of Human Rights during the case.

The protesters claimed the occupation was the only method of protest they had left to express their views after the council clamped down on their protests.

He said: "The occupation does not obstruct any users of the park. The purpose is to highlight to the public that the rights of young adults to embark on adventurous play is under threat."

Another protester, who is a mother and would only give her name as Annie, said: "I think really Wandsworth haven't got the best interests for the general public in closing it down. They know at least 90 per cent of the locals didn't want the park to be shut down

"Basically it is about children at the end of the day and the children's ability to play and challenge."

Judge Charles Welchman said: "It is clear from the views that have been heard that what the local authority have been embarking on has been met by strong opposition.

"This land belongs to the claimants, they have a right of possession. I am not infringing on the right of freedom of expression."

Councillor Kathy Tracey, cabinet member for children's services, said: "The longer these squatters remain on site, the greater the risk that young children in the area will not be able to enjoy going to the playground during the Easter holidays.

"I hope that the squatters will now cease their selfish and self-centred occupation and move on. They need to start thinking about the delays they are causing and the impact this will have on young people."

Comments (1)

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6:31am Fri 18 Jan 13

FairPlayforChildren says...

Fair Play for Children (supporting the Child's Right to Play, and to be Consulted) supports the retention of the Adventure Playgrounds of Wandsworth, the Council is acting against children's and parents wishes. fancy unsupervised equipment is no substitute for staffed playwork where kids work with imaginative and dedicated adults. This is a short-sighted policy, people may not like Occupy's approach but it seems to me Wandsworth Council has left people with little option but to defy the law. It's an honourable British habit when Cold Authority refuses to listen. Councils across Britain have hit play provision of this kind harder than most other services. We are losing decades of achievement, experience and commitment. The Battersea Struggle is representative of what is happening in a country where over decades our kids have lost so much play access and environment.
Fair Play for Children (supporting the Child's Right to Play, and to be Consulted) supports the retention of the Adventure Playgrounds of Wandsworth, the Council is acting against children's and parents wishes. fancy unsupervised equipment is no substitute for staffed playwork where kids work with imaginative and dedicated adults. This is a short-sighted policy, people may not like Occupy's approach but it seems to me Wandsworth Council has left people with little option but to defy the law. It's an honourable British habit when Cold Authority refuses to listen. Councils across Britain have hit play provision of this kind harder than most other services. We are losing decades of achievement, experience and commitment. The Battersea Struggle is representative of what is happening in a country where over decades our kids have lost so much play access and environment. FairPlayforChildren

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