In the Barnet Times this week, Cllr Tom Davey says in response to a question about the council’s lack of expenditure on sport facilities, “My personal opinion is we shouldn’t have anything to do with leisure. People can walk or jog in the park for free. That’s the attitude we have to take because we only have a set amount of money to spend.” Well I think that gives us all a very clear indication where the leisure review is going, a consultation due to start on 29 November.
Pretty radical but that isn't a surprise coming from Cllr Davey. What makes this even worse is the council's current consultation of the hiring our of our parks. The council have identified four separate categories for hire, Commercial, Charitable, Community and Private Hire.
In a desperate attempt to raise money, the council are proposing to let out our parks to whoever is prepared to pay. They have failed to say of there is a limit to how often the park can be hired out. Given the councils zeal to raise cash we face the prospect of our parks being turned into showgrounds. In my local park, Oakhill, they have identified a lovely area adjacent to the cafe for private events. But hang on a minute these are public parks. Just because someone can afford a wad of cash it doesn't mean they should deprive the rest of the community of using these facilities. This council are utterly ruthless, close the leisure centres and jog in the park but only when we haven't hired them out. Only in Barnet