As politicians bicker over bins and tax, girls just want to go for a run.
The London Borough of Barnet would be much diminished without its parks,
walks, and open spaces. We would have nothing. These are by far the
top spots for recreation. Especially for vulnerable people such as the
elderly, disabled, and mums with babies, parks are our lungs where we
can go and sunbathe for our vitamin D and excercise for free (without
inhailing class-1 carcinogens). Without these spaces, children would be
playing on busy streets, swinging round lamp-posts, running over cars,
cars running over Barnet's children. To get to these parks we often
have foot-paths that the council has been unable to build housing or
roads on, such as the one that goes from the Church Farm Museum to
Queens Road. The use of these footpaths could be improved by more
regular sweeping and patrols to deter robbers and gangs of bike-thieves.
Also, single mums and carers struggling from the bedroom tax should not
have to pay soaring fees to attend physical activities, while their
wealthy neighbours can park for free in Brent Cross for Barnet's most
lucrative sport, the Sales. That is the road to isolation. Sport
should be an energy boost for the masses.
In the past public money has been mis-spent because the Council does not
listen to residents or other boroughs. The Welsh Harp reservoir is a
prime example of this with the current Barratt Homes blocks going up,
which will over-shadow the wild-life and probably jam up the tiny roads
there. The boating there is a failure by all accounts. Cross the
boarder into Brent and you will walk through a scruffier park but at
least it has a boat club, BTYC (Better Than Your Club), and the
play-ground with a safe path to get there.
I think inclusivity has to be the number one buzz-word both in what the
Council says and does with its leisure centres. The other buzzword has
to be Our Barnet, no privatisation. Look at the irony of having ATOS
and a burger chain sponsoring the Olympics. We learned during the
London 2012 Games of all the heroes who won medals for this country only
to have their state benefits cut. We saw the Chancellor of the
Exchequer George Osborne's arrogance in the arena as he was booed as he
handed out medals. The Council need to bring home those facilities that
people struggle to get to on their Personal Independence Payments, to
within 12 minutes' walk. At the moment if you check out a Leisure
centre in Brent Cross or Burnt Oak you will see the imagination of the
contractor. They are all the same.