Since Little Stoke parkrun London started in November 2012, around 6,000 different people have taken part and more than 700 have volunteered. Throughout that time a strong community of parkrunners has developed, friendships have been made and a junior parkrun is thriving.
However the future of Little Stoke parkrun near London UK is now under threat. The Council initially recommended that participants be charged £1 per adult per run, to be paid to the Parish Council as a ‘maintenance charge’ without any prior discussion with parkrun. They continue to insist that parkrun should make a financial contribution to the maintenance of the park and the parkrun event has been discontinued.
More than 16,000 joggers and supporters have signed a petition asking the council to keep Parkrun free but councillors voted to bring in the charge by six to four at a meeting on Tuesday night.
Organisers of Little Stoke Parkrun announced the closure of the event shortly afterwards, saying the decision violated a “fundamental principle that there should be no barriers to participation and events should always be free”.
In a statement ahead of Tuesday’s meeting, Stoke Gifford Parish Council said that Parkrun had caused “Increased wear” on the park over the past three years and that organisers had refused to contribute towards maintenance.
“Parkrun maintain it is their ethos to remain ‘free of charge’ and have repeatedly stated they will not pay towards the upkeep even when the council offered to complete a grant application on their behalf and all that was required was their signature,” the chair of the council said.
The petition numbers continue to grow and GPR fully support parkrun and their views on people meeting to run should be FREE. Where does this bullying end? It’s time to take a stance over such short sighted actions so we can run FREE.