SEP­A­RAT­ING CHIL­DREN?

First News - - BIG NEWS -

A HOUS­ING block in south Lon­don has been ac­cused of sep­a­rat­ing chil­dren de­pend­ing on how much money their fam­i­lies have.

The Baylis Old School com­plex al­lowed chil­dren liv­ing in pri­vately-owned prop­er­ties to go into a play area, but blocked it off from those liv­ing in so­cial hous­ing – even though it was meant to be com­mu­nal (for ev­ery­one).

So­cial hous­ing is of­ten much cheaper to rent than nor­mal hous­ing. It’s pro­vided for fam­i­lies and peo­ple on low in­comes or with par­tic­u­lar needs.

The first plans for the block by Hen­ley Homes showed that there should be gates al­low­ing all of the chil­dren liv­ing there to play in the com­mu­nal ar­eas. In­stead, a wall was built in the way.

Fol­low­ing a lot of up­set, Lam­beth Coun­cil has taken the wall down. How­ever, it’s been dis­cov­ered since then that there are more play ar­eas in Lon­don that don’t let chil­dren in based on the wealth of their fam­i­lies.

The Chil­dren’s Com­mis­sioner for Eng­land, Anne Long­field, said: “Chil­dren should be able to grow up know­ing that they are a val­ued part of their com­mu­nity, not a marginalis­ed out­sider just be­cause they’re from a less well-off back­ground.”

New fig­ures out this week show that there is an in­crease in child poverty across the UK. Ac­tion for Chil­dren says the Gov­ern­ment needs to do more to help. The char­ity added that it is help­ing thou­sands of strug­gling fam­i­lies to pro­vide meals.

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