This caught my eye in yesterday’s Guardian:
Alice Furguson and Amy Rose organised getting their Bristol street closed for a street party but without the party bit – they just wanted their kids to be able to play outside without having to worry about cars.
With minimal organisation from the street’s parents (they just gave the kids some chalk and let them get on with it, rather than organising them), the event was a success. So they repeated it.
The council was interested enough to send a play professional (is that really a job?) to one of these early sessions. They were so impressed that the council gave them a grant to expand the scheme and set up Temporary Play Street Orders to effect road closures on a regular basis.
They now have a website – playingout.net, which is full of useful stuff to help you reclaim your own street.
I love this sort of thing – it’s a proper DIY street, done for a tiny fraction of the money that a council would spend to do the same thing.
Speaking of doing things for a fraction of what it would cost the council, did you see this:
According to this video’s Youtube blurb, it costs a local council £12-100K to install a zebra crossing, while this DIY version was done for fifty quid.
Maybe this is how “the big society” is going to save all that money. With savings on this sort of scale, it soon won’t be necessary for wealthy individuals and corporations to have to evade avoid paying tax any more.
To be honest, I’m not fussed either way (other than general goggle-eyed horror at how little tax these kleptocrats are paying) – just seeing this sort of thing happening on the streets has put a big cheesy grin on my face.