A grassroots campaign calling on Wandsworth Council to allow ‘ParkRun’ to come to Wandsworth has been backed by Tooting MP and marathon runner Sadiq Khan.
ParkRun is a not-for-profit organisation that runs free, weekly, volunteer-run, 5km runs around the country. Over half a million people have taken part in a ParkRun, at over 270 locations across Britain.
Wandsworth Council has so far refused permission for the local community to set up ParkRuns free of charge on any of the borough’s green spaces, including Battersea Park, Tooting Common and Wandsworth Common.
Local people have created a petition calling on the council to allow the local community to organise ParkRuns in the borough, free of charge and as a non-revenue raising venture. In less than a week over 1,300 signatures have been added to the petition.
Sadiq Khan MP, who is a keen runner and completed the London Marathon for local charities this year, has both signed the petition and written to the council to pledge his support for the campaign.
Sign the petition here.
Sadiq Khan MP said:
“Here in Wandsworth we all count ourselves very lucky to be surrounded by so many green spaces, and we want to be able to make the most of them. Yet the council is preventing local runners from enjoying our parks and is saying no to ParkRun.
“Parkrun would not cause the council to incur any extra cost. It does however help bring communities together, encourage new people to try running and has obvious health benefits. So why is the council refusing to support it?
“ParkRuns are happening all over London - and Wandsworth residents – including me - are missing out. The Council needs to wake up and listen to local residents when they say they want to bring ParkRun to Wandsworth.”
Cllr Ben Johnson, campaign supporter, said:
"Every week across London, runners both experienced and new have the chance to get together, free of charge, for an organised and friendly race. The health and social benefits of parkrun are clear - and can actually help reduce the cost of healthcare in the long term. Yet Wandsworth Tories, true to form, know the price of everything but the value of nothing. They should be getting behind volunteer-led schemes like this which only do good for the community, instead of looking for ways to raise revenue from them."