Stokey problems? Row erupts over Hackney Council’s Clissold House buggy ban

Buggies parked up in Clissold House. Picture: Hackney Council

Buggies parked up in Clissold House. Picture: Hackney Council - Credit: Hackney Council

A row has broken out after Hackney Council announced some parents will face a ban on bringing their buggies inside Clissold House from next month.

Although those using the café or ground floor toilets in the Grade II listed building in Clissold Park, Stoke Newington will still be able to bring their prams inside, those attending classes with their kids upstairs will not.

Instead they will have to lock them up in a shelter outside in the rose garden to prevent further damage to the historic building following a recent refurb.

The council has explained the move will improve accessibility and safety at Clissold House, which only has one small lift and very narrow corridors. It will also bring the dining room back into public use as a quiet room and café overspill, rather than a “buggy park”.

But it was branded “totally crazy” by one user.

“Totally understand and respect the refurb but they are seriously going to see their customers decline,” said Rachel Waters.

“It would put me off attending the classes.

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She added: “Like when it’s pouring with rain and people are traipsing to baby classes there. I realise this is a real first world/ Stokey problem but, still.”

The parent staff association at Grazebrook Primary School asked how parents would be able to handle lugging in more than one very young child as well as their bags.

But the council is sticking to its guns and said the changes will bring Clissold House in line with its children’s and leisure centres.

“It’s been discussed regularly at the meetings and house staff have also been encouraging buggy users to use the outside space for some time already,” said the Clissold Labour councillors.

However Abby Holmes pointed out nobody has been using it.

“Everyone still parks inside. The one o’clock club has buggy parking next to the building. With young babies it is a lot to be expected to deal with.”

Rini Paul also lamented the move: “I have twins so can’t see how I could get them both up to Tiny Time Music (baby and toddlers’ music classes) for example until they’re a bit older.”