Agenda item



Councillor J. Bright asked Councillor Albon the following question:


“Recent research by ‘Make Space for Girls’ found that girls and young women use parks and open spaces much less than boys and young men because they do not feel safe and also because facilities, such as Multi-Use Games Areas, are not designed with teenage girls in mind. 


Recent conversations with secondary school pupils in Broadstairs support these findings with young people frequently feeling vulnerable in our local parks and open spaces. Public places like Pierremont Park in Broadstairs have a reputation for anti-social behaviour and drug-use, which means these spaces are not enjoyed as much as they should be.


What can we do as a council to ensure our parks and open spaces, such as Pierremont Park and Jackey Bakers, are more inclusive and inviting for teenage girls, and are made safer for everyone?”


Councillor Keen responded that:


·  At a recent Members Briefing, Member’s heard from the Community Team about the unique work they are undertaking to tackle the issue of violence against women and girls and learnt about how unsafe women and girls feel (1 in 2 feel unsafe at night time and 1 in 3 during the day). 

·  Work undertaken by the partnership was extensive and included proactive campaigns and interventions. This included the introduction of safe spaces where people could attend if they felt scared or vulnerable, ask Angela/Andrew which focused on licenced establishments allowed people to ask for help without drawing attention to themselves, drink spiking campaign to alert people to the dangers and how to protect themselves, walk and talks where the team walk the neighbourhoods meeting people and talking about safety, safety webpage where you can plan your night out with safety in mind, hotel watch, knife amnesty bins and education, self defence classes, ladder of risk to help people understand behaviour that may be risky and environmental visual audits on how to improve areas.

·  Environmental visual audits had been taking place and included our parks and open spaces, The audits identified issues such as unlit and overgrown areas which were then rectified. Pierremont Park had previously had an audit and the team continues to work with Kent Police and within TDC to tackle the issues raised and identify those who are causing these areas of concern. The proposed improvements at Jackey Bakers provides an opportunity to consider and apply the findings and conclusions from the January 2023 ‘Make Space for Girls’ report along with the experience gained through the work of the Community Safety team.

·  It was not acceptable that women and girls feel unsafe and the council would continue to tackle this. Officers would continue to address concerns reactively as well as proactively looking at ways to make open spaces feel more inclusive and accessible to women and girls, and would be providing more detail next year as the project progresses.

Councillor J. Bright followed up her question by asking whether the council would make an effort to work more closely with Town and Parish Councils, schools and businesses about what support there was to make women and girls feel safer?


Councillor Keen responded that communication was a key part in letting women and girls know what is available to keep them feeling safe.