This story is doing the rounds, and as usual has lost something in the retelling.
The version I heard on Radio 2 this morning went like this. Telford Council have come under fire for instructing park staff to challenge anyone who was in the park without children.
Now either you’ve immediately started spluttering about not being able to enjoy your local park anymore, or you’re wondering if there’s any more to it.
What on the surface appears to be a manifestation of the national belief that it’s not safe to let your kids out because paedophiles are rife these days, turns out to have another dimension.
According to the Telegraph the young people who fell foul of this policy were activists handing out leaflets on climate change, not people suspiciously without purpose. In the Telegraph article a former childcare worker is quoted as saying:
“It appears that the council wants to use child protection as a cover for anything they don’t like taking place in the park.
According to an acquaintance that lives in the area, this is not the first time the rule has been used against leafletters, the first person to have done so was a campaigner who wanted to publicise the fact that the council had plans to build on the park. He went on to allege that the policy was invented specifically to justify clamping down on his campaigning, adding that the council had to treat the climate change campaigners in the same way as they were stuck with the policy.