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Southall locals celebrate Coronation of King Charles III in one of London’s “saddest playgrounds” by highlighting the need to refurbish Emerald Square

A street party in Emerald Square to celebrate the King’s Coronation brought members of the Southall community together despite it being rated number 3 of London’s saddest playgrounds in a poll by London Play.

According to residents, there has been a lack of care and attention to the playground from housing association A2Dominion, the co-hosted event by Clean Air for Southall and Hayes (CASH) and London Play sought to also promoting the campaign to refurbish the children’s playground at Emerald Square.

The event organisers said that in a survey of children at the street party, “the overwhelming consensus is that the playground is boring and has insufficient equipment to excite and stimulate creative play.”

Parents and adults who attended also raised their concerns.  The event organisers added: “Adults felt that the playground is unsafe, particularly at night when social drinkers congregate, leaving their bottles behind. One parent said that she would like the playground to be locked at night. Another parent said that the playground is hardly used and that the neglect of this facility, has created a missed opportunity for community building.”

In February 2023, EALING.NEWS spoke to A2Dominion about the situation of Emerald Square.

Dawn Wightman, director of homes & communities, at A2Dominion told EALING.NEWS at the time: “We’re committed to ensure our customers have clean and safe areas to use. Our playgrounds are maintained weekly by onsite colleagues and inspected monthly by accredited officials. We regret that some fly-tipping has taken place near the space and these items will be removed by our contractor.”

Ms Wightman added: “We are working closely with the Safer Neighbourhoods team and our partners to improve the playground and upgrades are planned for the seating areas and equipment. We will continue to engage with residents, and we welcome any suggestions they have to ensure the area can be enjoyed by everyone in the community.”

Neil Reynolds, chair of Ealing Greens told EALING.NEWS in February 2023, that he is calling on A2Dominion to not neglect the playground. He said: “Local play facilities that residents and their families can easily access are vital. Maintaining and rejuvenating existing sites that A2Dominion have neglected should be the top priority.”

According to CASH and London Play, at the end of March 2023, A2Dominion visited Emerald Square and said it would be doing a consultation with residents on what improvements they would like to see,

A spokesperson for CASH and London Play told EALING.NEWS that following the Coronation of King Charles III, they: “Will make available the results of the residents surveyed at the street party, to support the consultation process and hope that progress will be made towards visible improvements at the playground in time for the summer holiday.”

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