Left behind generation: Why are the swings shut when pubs are open, ask parents

Some playgrounds across London remained closed over the weekend despite the Government giving councils the green light to open them.

While revellers were able to drinks in a pub for the first time since March on Saturday, many parents were frustrated to find public playgrounds still under lock and key as councils said they were still awaiting “risk assessments” before reopening.

Haringey, Islington and Tower Hamlets were among the boroughs where children’s facilities remained closed.

Royal Parks, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and City of London Corporation, who operate the largest open spaces in London, also kept playgrounds and outdoor gyms shut over the weekend.

A Royal Parks spokesman said closures “will be reviewed over the coming days but when they do re-open, we will ensure there is clear and appropriate signage telling users to take precautions”.

Martin Ball, chair of the Friends of Down Lane Park in Haringey, said: “Like everyone I’m dismayed at the differences between boroughs. Surely these facilities can open when pubs and hairdressers can?

“There seems to be no sense of urgency to open them and it is children who will suffer.”

Novelist Linda Grant tweeted her frustration at facilities in Finsbury Park still being closed. She said: “No toilets. Playgrounds locked up.

“Two cafes doing takeaway but picnic tables fenced off. Boating lake and outdoor gyms shut. And loads of children on a beautiful summer’s day looking at what they can’t touch. Then weeing under a tree.”

Tower Hamlets, which manages Victoria Park, said it expects its public playgrounds to remain shut until August.

“We will open our playgrounds once our risk assessments and annual safety inspections are complete,” the council said.

Evening Standard – London