Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Council charges for parks

Our Council has hit upon a novel new way of making more money, they have introduced charges for personal trainers - and anyone else up to and including nannies pushing prams - for using the boroughs parks according to the Daily Mail.

It's hard to believe the Daily Mail has got any of this story wrong because the paper has a special place in this Councils' heart, with leading councillor Harry Phibbs even having a regular column in the paper. In the article a personal trainer is interviewed about how he was training with a client when he was confronted by a park warden demanding to know if he had bought a "license". Upon calling Hammersmith Town Hall he was told he would have to pay £350 per year for the right to carry on training people to lose weight and get fit.

The Council defends itself saying that it has to charge anyone "running a business" in the park - but we're not talking here about someone with an ice cream van or burger stall, we're talking about two people jogging or doing sit ups for goodness sake!

1800 UPDATE - The Evening Standard is running this story here too.  So in answer to those of you who incredulously asked me if it was true - yes, I'm afraid it is!


  1. Also it includes professional dog walkers, I heard on the radio. All these charges will just be passed on to the punters of course. A lesson in how to hide the increases in the cost of living?

  2. Wrong wrong wrong. The charges only affect commercial sports operators who are using our parks for their businesses - not nannies, not dog walkers, not teachers. If you were a chef you wouldn't expect a free kitchen - and neither should people use our parks for free for profit.

  3. Chris, it's laughable to say that it must be true because the Evening Standard are running it. The Standard simply lifted the (mainly inaccurate) story from the Daily Mail!

  4. This is not wrong.Any body who is running a business in the park should pay to govt.If he is doing as social service then its OK.But , if he is taking money for service then he should pay.

  5. I really hope that Cllr Smith is right and if he is, they need to let local childminders into the facts - mine told me this morning that she was going to quit childminding if she had yet another hurdle to jump through - and there are very few childminders in this area.

  6. If the parks were suffering from over-crowding or if these people were causing a nuisance then I'd understand.

    As it is, the park is an ideal place for people to excercise (whether it be with a personal trainer or not). I'd sooner they were in there than running into me along the pavements...