Laura Sharman 18 April 2017

Councils to be banned for charging parkruns to use parks

Councils could be banned from charging parkruns to use public parks, under new proposals unveiled by the Government.

The Department for Communities and Local Government is consulting on new legislation to ‘put it beyond doubt’ that local authorities cannot charge parkrun or junior parkrun for the use of public parks.

The Government said it was taking action to stop other councils following the example of Stoke Gifford Parish Council, which controversially became the first in the world to charge runners to use its park.

The consultation states: ‘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 will also consider if other users – such as professional dog walkers or personal trainers – should also be excluding from paying to use public parks.

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