Rachel's World: Don't let park strife spoil Glasgow's park life

DURING the heatwave last summer I think I spent 80% of my life in parks.

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Lunchbreaks were spent visiting Garnethill's wee oasis, while after work you would find me in Glasgow Green or Kelvingrove Park.

Alongside my pals and I there were people playing football, folk performing or listening to music, readers, sun worshippers wearing very little - the taps aff crowd - and everyone in between.

It was the equivalent of a sunny beach, with the murky Clyde instead of sparkling Mediterranean waters.

Although, not THE Sunny Beach, in Bulgaria, I'll point out. I saw none of the actual nudity that's all over the Channel 4 documentary, What Happens in Sunny Beach. Maybe that was in the South Side parks.

Even in the colder months I use Glasgow's green spaces to power walk in, along with the dog walkers and the die-hard fitness fanatics.

So it baffles me as to why the council would choose to propose such cut-throat rules for parks, something that everyone enjoys.

It's like they want to get the blood boiling.

To recap: the council is planning to introduce new park management rules, which they do every 10 years.

We've reported on how some of the proposals go.

Among the standard no alcohol and drugs rules, and no carrying guns (I'm with them on this), they also want a 5mph speed limit slapped on cyclists.

Was someone having a laugh when they decided to put that one in?

Other proposals are: banning people from playing musical instruments and forbidding walkers from exercising more than three dogs at a time.

I'm not sure if that depends on the size of the dog. Presumably one Newfoundland is the equivalent of at least 20 chihuahuas?

And what about the rules concerning nurseries?

In the "commercial activities" section it is proposed that a person or group seeking to use the park for "outdoor educational provision, child care provision, nursery or kindergarten activities" would need to get written permission first.

Understandably, there has been an outcry and a petition against the proposals quickly gathered 10,000 signatures. The council says their aim is to simplify the rules and make it so that parks can be enjoyed.

However, between this and other recent moves, including banning rickshaws, cone-gate and the George Square fiasco, I would suggest that Glasgow City Council has some major control issues.

I propose it takes itself off to a therapist to talk through why it just can't let go. It needs to accept that it can't control every action of residents.

If they want to play a guitar in the park with four dogs before speeding away on a bike and popping a cone on a statue, they will.

As long as they're not doing anything criminal, who cares?


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