Personal trainers, nannies, dog walkers and even teachers face hefty bills for using public parks under a town hall diktat.Well, did anyone really expect they'd put their hands up and say 'OK, OK, the diversity co-ordinators have gotta go...'?
Council chiefs have decided anyone using the open spaces for business must pay for the privilege.
Mr Mucha, 35, who works in Hurlingham Park in Putney, South London, was exercising with a client when a park ranger told him he couldn’t operate without filling in a form.Interesting. How are they going to prove that there's a business relationship?
Mr Mucha, who charges clients around £45 an hour, said the warden ‘asked if I had got the licence to be in the park’.
‘I was surprised and didn’t know what she was asking for. I rang the council and they told me it was £350 for 12 months.’
And wait, aren't they supposed to be encouraging exercise as part of their barmy extra 'services' no-one really needs from a council?
Well, they've prepared a comeback for that:
Michael Hainge, from the parks department, told councillors in September that although the council is anxious to use its green spaces to fight obesity, ‘efforts were being made to properly target the programmes and ensure they were not simply aimed at those who were already inclined towards exercise’.Because of the unfairness!!
He said parks suffered from ‘recurring activities that took place on a commercial basis, such as private football coaching, which needed to be identified and charged.’I wonder who'll be staffing the new council Business Assessor and Investigation Service Team..?
The council said yesterday: ‘Anyone can use our parks for free, including personal trainers.
However, as soon as personal trainers start charging and making money out of the park, they are running a business and would need a licence.’