Children need you at the Liveable Neighbourhood Workshops!

For many that submitted comments on the consultation map, you would have received invites to attend specific workshops covering that area. I really hope you have taken advantage of that and signed up to the relevant workshop(s).

Improving representation at the workshops

However the workshops are only as good as the attendees and there needs to be a broad representation of users (including children/parents from local schools). So if you do know an area and have/do walk/wheel or cycle through the area then it would benefit everyone, particularly children, if you attended the workshops.

There are already reports on social media that some workshops have been dominated by demands to keep residential roads outside of schools as rat runs without any consideration for the 100s of not 1000s of kids that want to walk/wheel or cycle to school. There also appears to be no questioning why none of the parents would let their kids cycle to school. Why?

Apply to Workshops

* Already happened

Children as a lens

It doesn’t help that some of the workshops are happening during half-term so representation from families will be low in those workshops which means schemes will not be looked at through the eyes of children.

Slide from Alice Ferguson‘s (@aliceplayingout) presentation at https://www.ideaswithbeers.co.uk/

For the Children

When we look at these workshops, many are in areas where there are schools or where kids travel through to get to schools. Cllr Sarah Warren has repeatedly mentioned the importance of School Streets in affecting real behaviour change. With 25% of rush hour traffic attributed to the school drop off, School Streets and safe routes to school should be a design priority within many of the workshops. I have concerns that this “objective” is being side-lined in preference to maintaining the status quo.

“Nobody cycles to that school!”

If you’re in a workshop and somebody says “Oh none of the kids cycle to that school so we don’t need to worry about school streets.” then recognise that this is because the roads are too hostile and safe child travel independence has been designed out of the area. It needs fixing not ignoring and the workshops are the opportunity to do so.

The workshops need the voices of children to be heard. Make a difference and attend a workshop. Do it for the kids.

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