Harriet Harman: "Brits without gardens should get priority use of parks"

6 April 2020, 16:17 | Updated: 6 April 2020, 16:19

By Seán Hickey

The longest serving woman MP in the House of Commons shared the idea to give people with no gardens priority use of parks.

Harriet Harman MP was on the line to Shelagh Fogarty to share her views on congestion in recreational areas in the UK during the coronavirus crisis.

Shelagh wanted to know if Ms. Harman thought that instead of closing parks, "there should be an insistence that people with gardens shouldn't use parks".

The Mother of the House of Commons felt that the government and local councils should "allocate parks disproportionately to housing estates that don't have gardens" and leave people that have gardens to use parks less, suggesting a "once a fortnight" rule of thumb.

Shelagh argued that such legislation would be difficult to put into practice in many areas and wanted to know how the longest consecutively serving female MP would police such a policy.

Ms. Harman pointed out that there is "a lot of social responsibility and a lot of social pressure" coming to the fore at the moment and believed that people would police these rules themselves, simply because of how well the rules are currently being followed.

Harriet Harman: "Brits without gardens should get priority use of parks"
Harriet Harman: "Brits without gardens should get priority use of parks". Picture: PA

The Labour MP stated that if people broke rules, neighbours would see them and "look badly on them" such is the power of community policing, especially seeing in times of crisis.

Ms. Harman pointed out that many people without gardens are the very same people that are working in high stress jobs dealing with the public during this time and insists the least the rest of the public can do is to give them space to enjoy parks in their down time.

Shelagh pointed out the rise in domestic violence cases during this time and asked Ms. Harman's opinion of the lack of services for vulnerable people during this time.

"Sending some people into their homes is sending people to their deaths" Shelagh said.

The Labour MP told Shelagh that every week that goes by during lockdown "is making a woman more vulnerable".

She simply put that "where you've got more pressure, you've got to have more provision" and the government should act accordingly and provide more services for vulnerable people during the lockdown.