Statement From The KTE Board Of Directors Regarding Lockdown Regulations
22nd April 2020
1. The Board of Directors (as unpaid volunteers) has duties to all nearby residents who have a right to use the gardens, as well as the three gardeners working in the gardens. That is, to not put residents or the gardeners at personal risk during the pandemic. Many residents are either in the vulnerable category, or have household members
who are, and therefore the dangers from catching the virus are very real and very frightening for many people. In any event, we all need to take responsibility for trying to prevent the transmission of the virus.
2. The Lockdown Regulations1 make it potentially a criminal offence for anyone to leave the place where they are living without reasonable excuse. The most relevant exception is to take exercise either alone or with other members of their household.
3. The gardens are of course private communal gardens, but that does not prevent breaches of the Regulations, potentially criminal offences, being committed outside the place where anyone is living. In the same way, the fact that a murder or domestic violence takes place in a private property, does not mean that the actions are not criminal.
4. Many residents believe that breaches of the Regulations potentially put other residents and users of the gardens at risk. The Board is under a duty to its staff where possible to provide a safe workplace environment.
5. It is helpful and reassuring that the Housing Secretary on 18 April 2020 stated that parks must remain open. Nonetheless, if residents believe that breaches of the Regulations are occurring, then they are entitled to call the police, as has already happened.
6. The Board of Directors asks everyone to be respectful of those residents and other users of the gardens who are very fearful for their health and wellbeing because of the virus, as well as everyone taking responsibility for trying to prevent the transmission of the virus. The Board also asks everyone to respect each other’s different views and opinions on these and other issues; we all need and want to be able to continue to enjoy the gardens, when we are so lucky to have access to the gardens in these very difficult times.
1 The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020