Manager defends ‘No ball games’ signs on Islington estates
'It will make my job, in terms of protecting property and vulnerable individuals, more difficult'
09 March, 2018 — By Samantha Booth
A sign banning ball games
A COUNCIL housing manager has hit back at suggestions to remove “no ball games” signs from estates.
The staff member, who wished to remain anonymous, said on his estate the signs are currently in places they are needed, to protect windows and other property as well as vulnerable residents.
He contacted the Tribune after seeing the February 23 front page story on the Town Hall’s Fair Future Commission recommending the signage should be reviewed to make more young people feel welcome in the borough.
The manager said: “It will make my job, in terms of protecting property and vulnerable individuals, more difficult as these signs are only in the areas where there are reasons. ‘No ball games’ protects windows there. It’s not to make anyone unwelcome, it is to say in that particular part of the estate that’s not welcome.
“On the other side of the block where the modern sports facility is, that is a safe and welcoming space for young people.”
He also said the signs offer “the only consistent layer of protection” as he can then enforce the policy.
During the report’s research, young people said some signs are necessary but some could be written in a different, more friendly, way. But they also did not want to see everything removed without talking to residents first.
Other recommendations from the commission include making sure teenagers in Islington have access to 100 hours of work experience before they are 16 and to be consulted on major building developments.
The commission is chaired singer Jermain Jackman, the former winner of TV talent show The Voice and former Islington Arts and Media School student.
Council leader Richard Watts said: “The Fair Futures Commission report is a fantastic, ground-breaking piece of work, led by local children and young people, to help make Islington the best place for young people to grow up. We hugely welcome the report, and the council will give a detailed response later this year to all its recommendations and the next steps that will be taken.”