I know this blog is usually about me, be that good or bad, but this is a quick five minute rant on another matter, about the short sightedness of Bristol’s Stoke Gifford Parish Council and their decision to charge parkrun a fee to use the park which is going to result in the cancellation of an event used by 300 adults AND CHILDREN on a weekly basis. Yes, children.
Firstly the facts: Parkrun’s ethos in the 850 runs it organises in 12 countries is for the event to be free and open to everyone. I would not be running if it wasn’t for Strathclye parkrun being a free accessible event. There are hundreds of people in the same situation. I am healthier, I no longer smoke. It has given me confidence in social situations. It’s not all about racing, it is about changing people’s lifestyles. How many people has this happened to and does it happen to on a weekly basis? I was fortunate enough to volunteer last month at it, as it is run by volunteers. It isn’t an elite event. It isn’t for medals. Someone running 15 minutes has the same kudos as someone doing their first in 45 minutes. The kids event encouraging children to put down the ipads and phones and do that little bit of exercise at the weekends is forward thinking for the good of a generation, yet the council want to stop this.
The Stoke Gifford Parish Council have stated that “Stoke Gifford Parish Council said it was ‘unfair’ to expect non-running residents to pay path up keep.” A ridiculous argument. Should I demand a refund in my council tax for every street light put on in an area I don’t walk down, for every road I don’t drive down? Ridiculous. Parkrun is one of the best things to happen to tackle Britain’s obesity and fitness problem, and these petty minded bureaucrats are trying to take that away. What next, get rid of children’s playparks because they don’t pay council tax? This must be stopped.
Please consider signing the petition below:
If this happens here it could happen everywhere. Sign the petition, spread the awareness on your social media accounts. Don’t let these pen pushing bureaucrats take away one of the few things that matter to so many.