Tuesday 26 April 2011

Now H&F Taxes Exercise In Local Parks

Residents will be charged for using Hammersmith and
Fulham's parks if they have a personal trainer
Hammersmith and Fulham's Conservative run council has become famous for its stealth taxes but this latest tax is really quite hard to believe. The Daily Mail is reporting that our local authority will now charge between £350 to £1,200 a year for personal trainers, nannies or even nursery assistants to use the Borough's parks. You can read the full story here. This charge will undoubtably be passed onto clients of these services - the vast majority being local residents who have already paid for our local parks via their council tax.

Many of the people providing these services are self-employed. They do not have the enormous salaries, final salary pensions or iron-clad, ultra-secure employment terms of, for example, senior local government officers. So it's telling that H&F Conservatives failed to defend the corner of the smallest of small business entrepreneurs.

However, this policy shines a spotlight on the Conservative Administration's failure to deliver genuine improvements in efficiency in incompetent quarters of the Council. Instead they have been content to sign off stealth taxes or cuts in services presented to them as easy savings. Consider that this is the only council out of the 33 local authorities in London to be introducing these extraordinary charges. They're also the same council behind plans to waste £35million on new luxury Town Hall offices and the people who cancelled the garden waste service, introduced new charges for removing bulky waste and hiked parking fees up by 55% only six months ago. So it's questionable why they're still allowed to print Putting Residents First on the sides of their numerous council vehicles.


debbie domb said...

It should be 'putting some residents first'. If you are disabled, older, living in social housing, growing up in a household below the poverty line, need to use services, (this is not a definitive list) or CRUCIALLY NOT A TORY, then you are not one of the residents put first.

Dom said...

As a personal trainer, I think it's utterly insane for councils to impose a charge for using public parks.

This puts up yet another barrier to getting fit, and will deter new personal trainers from entering the profession.

Janet said...

Incidentally, another onslaught against children and those who care for them - childminders are going to become even fewer if they have to pay to take kids to play in the park.