£2.50 To Play In Battersea Park Adventure Playground

Council assures PutneySW15 that there are no plans to charge for Leader Gardens

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The Council has launched a pilot scheme to charge entry for 5 - 16 year olds to play at weekends in Battersea Park Adventure Gardens and are being accused by locals in the area of raising a "tax on fun". The Council feels that in times when it needs to make cuts to the services it cannot afford to subsidy children who come from other parts of London to play there.

Some West Putney residents are concerned that although Leader Gardens may not have such a range of facilities would there be a move to charging for all play ground - perhaps at a lesser rate? Currently the only charges in Leader Gardens are for tennis courts @ £6 per hour and tennis lessons which are paid to lifetimetennis.co.uk which rents the courts from the council.

A Council spokesman told PutneySW15:
"The difficult economic situation we face means we have to consider every aspect of the work we do and the services we provide. The adventure playground is a very popular but also very expensive facility to run.

"The equipment requires constant maintenance and replacement in order to keep it safe, and because of the playground's rough and tumble nature, it also needs lots of trained staff on duty to ensure that children remain safe. This is especially true at weekends when it is extremely busy and research has shown that half of those attending come from other parts of London.

He continued:

"Introducing a pilot charging scheme at weekends will allow us to carry on investing in the playground, recoup some of those costs and allow us to continue providing the best value for money we can for our council tax payers. At around half the price of a child's cinema ticket we do not believe the fee is excessive."

May 12, 2011