Tory playground politics are alienating the poor | Letter

Blame the government for curbing council powers that can prevent segregated play areas in some housing developments, says Cllr Matthew Bennett

The appalling segregation of play facilities for families that live in different housing tenures has rightly been condemned (Developer bars poorer children from play area, 26 March).

Unfortunately, council powers to enforce equal access are limited, and new powers given to councils to do this by the mayor of London in 2016 cannot be enforced retrospectively.

We have lobbied the developers to do the decent thing and ensure equal access to shared facilities for all residents and we will keep doing so.

This story is emblematic of the realities of the housing crisis under this Conservative government, with powers taken away from councils to hold developers to account. This means less affordable housing and fewer shared facilities, and increasing division between different types of tenure that is the opposite of the inclusive and mixed communities we want to encourage and support.
Cllr Matthew Bennett
Cabinet member for planning, investment and new homes, London Borough of Lambeth

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