Parkrun fees Consultation Document

Hi I hope this post is appropriate but I know many runners on this site use parkrun.

I came across this stroy from the Daily telegraph on MSN

Towards the end it mentions A Government Consultation Document open till July 5th. I am going to respond.

If you would like to have a look the email is runconsultation@communities.gsi.gov.uk or if you Google parkrun consultation document it will take you there.

Regards John

"Councils are to be legally banned from charging runners who take part in regular Saturday morning “Parkruns” after one event was abandoned when organisers were forced to pay a “wear and tear” fee.

..

... There was an outcry in April last year from runners and Olympic athletes such as Paula Radcliffe and Dame Kelly Holmes when Stoke Gifford Parish Council proposed a charge on organisers of a parkrun in Little Stoke Park.

Councillors there voted in favour of charges for "wear and tear", on the grounds that it was unfair to expect non-running residents to pay for the park's upkeep.

Ministers said they were passing the law because it was “important that action be taken to prevent other local authorities following Stoke Gifford Parish Council’s example.”

The consultation document – published without fanfare on Thursday and open until July 5 - makes clear that "the use of public parks by the public for everyday use is, and should remain, free.

"It is for that reason that we are proposing to legislate to ensure that local authorities cannot charge parkrun or junior parkrun for the use of public parks."

It said: “The Department for Communities and Local Government is consulting on proposals to legislate to put it beyond doubt that local authorities, including parish councils, cannot charge parkrun or junior parkrun for the use of public parks.”

It added: “Local authorities quite legitimately charge for a variety of different events and specific activities that take place in local parks.

“The government considers that it is appropriate for the public to pay a reasonable sum for the exclusive use of a facility such as a tennis court or for the shared use of a facility such as a golf course.

“It is also considered appropriate for charges to be made for special events such as outdoor concerts or other ticketed events that generate a profit for the local authority or the event organiser.

“However, the government does not consider it appropriate for a local authority to charge a volunteer community seeking to provide a free weekly event for the use of a public park, overturning our long standing convention of free access to parks for their everyday use.”

The consultation also asked whether councils should be allowed to charge “professional dog walkers, personal trainers and other individuals and organisations that use public parks in relation to business” that does not involve closing large parts of the space.

Tom Williams, Parkrun’s chief operating officer, said: “We are really pleased to see the government's passion for protecting public areas of open space so that future generations are able to enjoy them as we do, and it is critical that all park users work together in order to ensure their sustainability.

“At Parkrun we are committed to doing whatever we can to support local authorities across all of our event locations and there are many creative ways to do this.”

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6 Replies

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  • This is great, thanks for posting, I think the questions are written in a complicated way, but that's Government for you......🤔

    Totally agree with it though....

    Mx

  • Thanks Madge.

    I was reluctant to post something that could be seen as "political" but as the Telegraph said "The consultation document – published without fanfare on Thursday ...". I think its important for those of us it effects to make a contribution. .. and here may be many people who thing runners should pay for the upkeep of the facilities they use. Personally, it seems to me that the NHS is going to be overwhelmed with people whose inactivity has caused health problems. I have tried to drag myself out of this catagory. I wonder how much Parkrun will save the country by keeping people fitter and healthier for longer without using taxpayers money or needing government intervention.

    Regards John

  • It's actually made the BBC news web page, so fingers crossed lots will support it, I wouldn't class it as 'political' with a big 'P' .......it's the principle......, my local Parkrun is at a park that is a charitable concern and the relationship between the two is just fantastic. We share with cyclists, prams/buggies, fishermen (and their tents), open water swimmers.....and even horses sometimes!

    My only regret is that I didn't join parkrun sooner, it really is for everyone and is a safe, encouraging environment to start any level of walking or running activity.

    Mx

  • Thanks Madge I agree 100%. Politics with a small p Principle with a BIG P.

    regards John

  • You are right usually we don't do politics, but I posted the BBC link earlier because my view is that Park Run is vital for the health of our nation and helping to keep the NHS less stressed because we are more in control of our own health. Many have come down in weight, off blood pressure and diabetic medication and helped with stress and anxiety. So for me it is less political and more medicinal that free things like NHS choices, the podcasts, park run and all these forums are kept free for all to use no matter what your income is. Thanks for the detailed information you have posted here. Let's all keep our fingers crossed.

  • Thanks - did see something about this - will follow it up.

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