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Children are signing a petition against Wandsworth Council's plan to introduce a £2.50 entrance fee to Battersea Park's adventure playground at the weekends. They argue that half of the children enjoying the facility at the weekends are from outside the borough, yet Wandsworth residents have to stump up the £200,000 annual maintenance fee. Angry residents claim that the move is intended simply to keep Wandsworth's famously low council tax the cheapest in the country, using children's facilities to subsidise other services.
Luckily this is unlikely to set a precedent for other play areas across the country. The adventure playground serves children aged 5 - 16 and is staffed during opening hours. As most play facilities across the country are not permanently staffed, introducing an entrance fee would automatically require the introduction of additional cost simply to collect revenues and so makes the move less feasible.
An adjacent toddler play area is not earmarked for the pilot charging scheme, so Wandsworth's army of child carers can relax in the knowledge that they still have somewhere for their toddlers to play!