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Worrried parents form “human fence” around Victoria Park playground

PUBLISHED: 15:11 29 February 2012

150 parents and children linked arms to form a human fence around the playground

150 parents and children linked arms to form a human fence around the playground

CARMEN VALINO ALL RIGHTS

Around 150 parents and children linked arms to form a “human fence” around a new park playground to in a bid to highlight their safety fears.

The group met at Victoria Park on Saturday to put pressure on Tower Hamlets Council to build a protective fence around the new adventure playground.

They say the area’s intricate design and landscaping means children are at risk of getting lost, falling into the nearby lake or getting into danger at Grove Road.

Some also have fears about dogs entering the play area.

Almost 400 people have signed a petition urging the council to take action.

Parent Deborah Handforth, who lives off of Old Ford Road in Bow, regularly uses the playground with her two children, aged three and four.

She said: “We love the playground and it’s brilliant what they’ve done, but there’s a safety issue. There is a lot of landscaping which blocks the view of a parent trying to keep an eye on their child and it’s also quite close to a busy road.

“Pretty much everyone who’s got small children agrees that a fence would be a good idea.”

Cllr Joshua Peck, leader of Tower Hamlets Labour group, is supporting the campaign.

He said: “There are a lot of people really concerned with what they see as a fantastic park but with some really weird design features.”

The park recently underwent its biggest investment since it was created, with £12million from the council and Lottery funding going into landscaping, a café and the playground.

Tower Hamlets council said more than 100 children and young people gave the playground the thumbs up during a consultation on the design but said it would “continue to monitor” reactions and “make any changes necessary”.

A spokeswoman added: “National guidelines recognise that children benefit far more by having play integrated into the wider environment rather than confining it to small enclosures.”


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