to not understand the level of fuss about the Stoke Gifford Parkrun?

(183 Posts)
Lucydogz Thu 14-Apr-16 11:16:40

I appreciate that, ideally, Parkruns should be free, but can't understand the level of fuss about Stoke Gifford proposing a £1 charge for this. I pay more than that to park my car when I do a parkrun in my town. Football clubs pay to use parks, as do other organisations, and parks really need the money. Well over 100 runners go on 'my' run, and it does increase wear and tear on the ground.

WiiUnfit Thu 14-Apr-16 11:19:38

Yabu. The council have tried to justify charging each runner £1 each on the basis that the football club rent the pitch, changing facilities, showers, etc for £60 per time. As there are approximately 300 runners, they'd make £300 per week from the parkrun people who have no access to those facilities. It's ridiculous. Parkruns should be free & accessible to all, that's what it's all about.

Shoxfordian Thu 14-Apr-16 11:20:25

Didn't realise it was only £1 charge; agree this is not unreasonable especially if there are hundreds more runners than usual in the park on a specific day

Capricorn76 Thu 14-Apr-16 11:24:00

There's no point in the government having a go at the nation for getting fat and then local government putting people off getting fit.

Also it's a slippery slope. Will they be charging groups of mums meeting in the park to push their babies around in buggies next? Groups of people having picnics?

The park is a public space which is already paid for out of our taxes. Leave the runners be. People running for 1 hour a week won't cause that much damage.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Thu 14-Apr-16 11:25:08

I thought the woman sobbing on R4 about it and wailing "it's not about the money, it's the people!" was fucking annoying and didn't help.

I like the idea of Parkrun because it's great free exercise and also keeps the twattish ones out the way for the rest of the weekend so others can enjoy the park (you know the ones that come thundering at you and your toddler and refuse to go 6 inches out of their way so you have to leap out the way).

I'm not sure I can get that upset about £1 but I get it's the principle. For my quid I'd expect to be able to access some showers and changing facilities.

WiiUnfit Thu 14-Apr-16 11:29:11

I agree movingonup, they could have picked someone less... Emotional!

I think any charge, even just £1, will put a lot of people off. And, as I mentioned earlier, it's the principle of charging the football club £60 which includes facilities, and charging the parkrun £300+ with no facilities.

It all smacks of them realising they could make a tidy sum from the parkrun.

QueenofallIsee Thu 14-Apr-16 11:32:16

I think its shocking to propose a charge! Our Park Run is staffed by volunteers, runners pay for parking and the park is supposed to be a space free for all! the Park Run does not stop other people using the facility and afterwards, many runners can be seen making use of shops/cafes etc. Ridiculous to apply a charge for nothing but the use of a path.

mudandmayhem01 Thu 14-Apr-16 11:45:07

I can understand about the emotion to be honest. My mum is a park runner ( aged 71) it is a fantastic community. She has made great new friends, they supported a friend to achieve 100 parkruns before she died of cancer and planted daffodils in the park to remember her by. Our council is very pro running at the moment as it is part of an initiative to make Sheffield the outdoor capital of the UK, thus bringing revenue into the city.

NoCryingInEngineering Thu 14-Apr-16 11:45:09

I'm a little split on this. My local parkrun is partly on paths and partly on grass and you can really see the damage done by 3x 80 pairs of feet (it's a multi-lap course) on wet days. So I'm aware it's not without an impact on the public land it takes place on.

On the other hand, parkrun has been great for getting me back to running post baby and the impact the events have had on individual and community lives almost always seems to be positive.

I think the council has handled the whole affair incredibly badly. If they feel the run is having a significant impact on a part of the course there are less combative actions they could have taken (requesting a course change, or asking for donations to a fund to repair a problem area). Unfortunately the impression the council is giving is that they think they have spotted a money making opportunity and are trying to cash in.

So, I think the council is BU in trying to apply a charge per runner, but would NBU to try to minimise damage to areas of the park caused by regular users, including the parkrunners

WiiUnfit Thu 14-Apr-16 11:48:06

Agreed NoCrying, a regular change of course would minimise damage and keep it interesting for runners too, I know I get bored of doing the same route time & time again!

Akire Thu 14-Apr-16 11:51:27

I do understand the extra wear and tear but taking part in excersise is expensive. Taking a family swimming can cost best part of £15-20. There is very little free stuff unless you want jog around your local park.

Not quite sure what they would do if 300 people just decided to turn up and run off own backs. Can't start charging then!

Oysterbabe Thu 14-Apr-16 11:54:18

If 849 other councils are able to cope then why is Little Stoke different? It sets a precedent. If they all start charging participation will drop. It's incredibly short sighted.

whois Thu 14-Apr-16 11:54:54

Council should have paid for parking, rather than charging to the park run.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Thu 14-Apr-16 11:55:37

Not quite sure what they would do if 300 people just decided to turn up and run off own backs. Can't start charging then!

That is essentially what Parkrun is. I have a lot of time for Parkrun (I am a Parkrunner) but I also think it's up to the venue to decide if they want hundreds of people running an event in the park.

If they want to make money charge a few people to come and take pitches for pop up tea rooms or ice cream during the summer months. The more facilities the more it's an event and the more people come.

It would be a shame to lose the Parkrun at that particular venue but it is a privilege not a right.

parissont Thu 14-Apr-16 11:55:49

Oh fgs.

As a nation, we desperately need to get fitter. Our level of inactivity is a ticking time bomb. Councils, govt and even people who are irritated by runners should respect ANYONE trying to get fitter. It's more important than the state of a path (which we pay for through council tax anyway)

Make dog walkers pay. Sick of having to avoid dog shit on my runs!

mudandmayhem01 Thu 14-Apr-16 11:58:27

I imagine park run has done a lot more for the nation's health than the misguided and expensive change4life scheme.

parissont Thu 14-Apr-16 12:00:29

Yes or anything any of the members of Stoke Gifford council have ever done or will do. I think it's a mean-spirited, chippy little tax. I really hope they have to back down.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Thu 14-Apr-16 12:00:59

Gosh yes change4life is a load of utter bollocks.

I suppose my view may be clouded by the fact it costs me £2 for Parkrun because I have to pay for parking at my local. Although when we car share it's only 50p.

I bet if they'd just asked for donations they would have got a hefty chunk and retained the goodwill of everyone.

parissont Thu 14-Apr-16 12:03:12

Yes I thought that about donations.

I have to say this isn't doing anything to alter my opinion that parish councillors are backward thinking jobsworths.

Akire Thu 14-Apr-16 12:05:28

£300 a week is over £15k a year which is a lot if it's costing that much in repairs but I dare say the local NHS is saving that in long term costs of obesity so win win. Even if each park run stops one person developing diabetics from being over weight they save at least that in a year I'm guessing!

Tweennightmare Thu 14-Apr-16 12:06:55

I do park runs and the thing I liked best about them Is the community feel as mud said up thread . Having been overseas for a few years I was thrilled to hear of the park run concept when I got back . Encouraging people to get fit for free , manned by volunteers with an element of competitiveness with ranking and times. The government keep going on about obesity and getting people moving , with the park run they have invented the perfect incentive. Charging goes against all these principles as now there is a cost element which I know people say is only a £1 but for some people every £1 matters and there are whole families who do park runs so now it may be £4 a week £16 a month soon adds up and even if it means that only 1 person can no longer afford to do the park run I think it is 1 too many. I do hear what the councils are saying about wear and tear but I agree maybe varying the course or voluntary contributions is the way forward

LurkingHusband Thu 14-Apr-16 12:12:04

I was amused to read that this is the only Parkrun event ever in the world where a charge has been suggested. Given they are global that's quite a statement on the poverty in Stoke Gifford ...

There's no point in the government having a go at the nation for getting fat and then local government putting people off getting fit.

There was a thread recently about local authorities whacking up charges for swimming ...

parissont Thu 14-Apr-16 12:14:53

I guess swimming pools do need much more maintenance and staffing to be fair. Also swimming isn't as effective for fitness unless you do a lot of it or have mobility problems or are extremely overweight

BillSykesDog Thu 14-Apr-16 12:15:07

YABU. I think part of the problem is that it's a very small parish council, but the run is attracting a large number of people from outside the parish and is costing a lot in wear and tear.

If the council were to support it, it may well mean that the people who actually live in the area and pay council tax might lose other services. So I think it's fair to ask, as the fact most are coming from outside the area means they're getting it entirely free at the parishioners expense otherwise.

OTheHugeManatee Thu 14-Apr-16 12:18:23

What parissont and mudandmayhem said. Parkrun has doubtless done more for public health than the stupid, expensive and patronising change4life thing and trying to make money off it is grasping, mean-spirited local government at its petty worst.

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