‘No Ball Games’ policy gets the red card

Image from Raw Pixel

A decade on from the removal of a ‘no ball games’ policy on a North London housing estate, youngsters have been told to keep on playing…

Barnet Homes, which manages around 15,000 local authority-owned properties, say it will continue to say ‘no’ to the ‘authoritarian signage’ it first outlawed in 2011.

And that is a victory for local children who, unlike many of their peers across the country, will not be finding themselves denied by officialdom any time soon the simple pleasures of kicking a ball around.

Barnet Homes says the policy has played ‘a crucial role in fostering a sense of community and belonging among its residents, particularly with children and young people’.

‘Authoritarian signage’

It adds that since the removal of this ‘authoritarian signage’ from its council estates in 2011, it has stayed committed to fostering vibrant communities where young people are empowered to engage in positive activity under the supervision of their local community.

Tim Mulvenna, CEO of The Barnet Group, said that dropping the signage hindering free play had helped pave the way for children to express themselves, develop friendships, and engage in healthy outdoor activities.

“We understand that concerns have been raised regarding children playing football and other games on grass verges. However, Barnet Homes has no powers to enforce in the matter, and it’s crucial to remember that children playing ball is not a criminal offence, nor does it constitute anti-social behaviour unless there’s a persistent nuisance or proven damage involved.

“We believe in addressing issues when there is evidence of significant demand from local residents, and we need to consider the overall impact on the community rather than reacting solely to individual concerns. We’re here to build a harmonious living environment for all.”

Author: Simon Weedy

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