So-Solid Crew and Levi Roots sign adventure playgrounds petition
Members of So-Solid Crew and Levi Roots took part in an event on Saturday highlighting the threat to adventure playground staff.
It was organised by Wandsworth Against Cuts (WAC) and saw a series of activities take place in Battersea Park, Kimber Road and York Gardens adventure playgrounds.
Earlier this year, Wandsworth Council announced it wanted to save £147,000 by getting rid of its play staff and making the playgrounds safer.
But many people are concerned a lack of staffing could lead to children being put in danger, as well as the loss of some of the most exciting play equipment.
During the event, youngsters designed wallpaper to highlight the changes taking place in the park, while visitors enjoyed food, music and talks given by volunteers.
Mr Roots also showed his support by signing the petition, which now has almost 2,000 signatures with 300 more signatures gained during the day.
Jane Eades, a member of WAC, said during the event: "Adventure playgrounds are exactly what they say on the tin. Places where young people can be adventurous, take risks, grow up, but under the watchful eyes and guidance of play leaders.
"We all need and benefit from fully staffed, safe adventure playgrounds, whether we have children or not. Without them the costs of crime, policing and vandalism will increase."
She also highlighted recent shootings in the area, with a 20-year-old man beings shot in the chest in Plough Road, Battersea, in April.
Faced with having to cut expenditure by £70m as a result of the nation's economic woes, Wandsworth’s cabinet member for children’s services Councillor Kathy Tracey said: “Although we are having to make difficult decisions in order to save money, I am proud that we are avoiding closing any playgrounds, as is happening in other parts of London.
“We understand how valued and well-loved these play areas are and that is why our focus has been on offering something new and exciting where changes have to be made – as well as keeping them free to use.”
The council will make their final decision about adventure playgrounds at the Education and Children's Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting on June 20.
Visit wandsworthagainstcuts.co.uk to sign the petition.