Three community groups, Southwark Living Streets, Borough Babies and SE1 Safe Roads, have come together ahead of this May’s local elections to encourage Southwark’s local political parties to develop policies that enable Southwark’s children to be more active and which can start to address our high levels of childhood obesity. We need a long-term project to increase children’s activity levels and for childhood in Southwark to become a far more “outdoors” rather than “indoors” experience.
At its core are two elements:
- How vital outdoor physical activity is for children and how they need to be out and about far more than they are at present.
- The need for children to be able to walk and cycle far more than they can currently.
While this is will be a long-term project for any party, we are suggesting five initial policies that Southwark’s parties might adopt:
- Playing in the street. Embracing and embedding the policies of Playing Out (http://playingout.net) into Southwark’s residential streets with temporary street closures to allow children to play after school.
- Connecting children better with nature. Creating “play wildernesses” on estates where children can run around freely and engage in climbing and playing.
- New Streets – HomeZones. To design all new residential streets along the principles of “HomeZones” which have a maximum speed of 10mph and have trees and greenery embedded in their design.
- Cycling to Nursery/School. To identify the schools (or groups of schools) which would best fit an initial “cycle to school” project. Set new and ambitious targets for cycling to school.
- Information. Providing one-stop-shop information for activities for children and families about what’s on and where.
For full details please download our document