Children play areas in Southwark are being segregated according to class, with kids from social housing prevented from playing with those who are not – even if they may be classroom friends in the same school.
The Mary Datchelor School site in Camberwell, which by a cruel irony was the former headquarters of Save the Children, was converted into an apartment complex ten years ago. Peabody Housing built a social housing block adjacent to it in 2017, with both blocks surrounding an inner garden. However, a hedge has been installed in order to separate the private owners, and with it their children, from those living in social housing.
The story first appeared in The Guardian newspaper, with this only one case out of several across Inner London. Many are assuming that similar cases exist, but have not yet received widespread attention.
Cllr Humaira Ali, Southwark Liberal Democrat spokesperson of Equalities and Citizenship said:
‘Stopping kids from different backgrounds playing together by actively building barriers is wrong. Liberal Democrats have spent decades fighting to break down barriers between social classes, while these developers are physically building them up in some false hope it’ll increase sales. These are not the values Southwark is built on and it really should not be going on in 2019.
Hopefully the developers involved will now reconsider and remove these barriers, but if they don’t I’m sure our community will stand up against this form of 21st century segregation.’
Notes for editors:
- The story first appeared in The Guardian here: https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2019/mar/30/we-just-play-in-the-carpark-more-segregated-playgrounds-revealed