Monday 16 November 2015

Children to take over Brent streets? (occasionally)

They could be updated photographs from the 50s LINK but these are from an experimental 'Play Street' in Kempe Road, Queens Park.

The Brent Cabinet will this afternoon at their meeting at Crest Academy (2pm) be considering a paper adopting a procedure for occasional closure of local streets along similar lines. LINK

This comment from one of the organisers sums up what is to be gained for the community:

Apologies for the belated thank you! I wanted to extend our heartfelt gratitude and thanks for the first ever play street in Brent. As you can see from the photos it was a whopping success - old and young mingled and laughed and got to know each other. As one of my elder neighbours said, she’d lived on the street for 30 years and hadn’t met several neighbours until that day. The children played for hours, and invented their own games and enjoyed the freedom of not stressing about cars. I knew they would love it, but I hadn’t quite realised how much the adults would love it too. I’ve received many emails of thanks, and have acquired a long email list of neighbours who want to be included in the next one.
The report outlines the wider advantages:
Although Play Streets do no replace the need for Green Spaces they have the advantage of:
  • Allowing children to play near home while remaining the responsibility of their parents
  • Reducing obesity
  • Giving children the space to play energetically
  • Increasing the sense of community by bringing neighbours together  both in setting up and managing the play street but also in taking part when the street is in operation
The caveat about Green Spaces is vital. Play Streets are a great idea but mustn't be used as a substitute for green spaces, including pocket parks,  or  supervised play activities as used to be provided by Stonebridge Adventure Playground.

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