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Summary

  1. Updates for Bristol, Bath and Weston-super-Mare for Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Parkrun charge: a view from the field

Ian Parker

BBC News

Little Stoke Park
BBC

People enjoying the April sunshine in Little Stoke Park keep asking me what all the fuss is about.

Satellite trucks are parked in the car park and camera crews are interviewing the many dog walkers and joggers out this lunchtime.

No-one I've met so far thinks there is a problem with the Saturday morning runners, with one gentleman who was nearly 90, telling me if he was 40 years younger he'd be running with them.

The park, on the outskirts of Bristol, is largely flat with a number of rugby pitches and football grounds.

It has a path around the perimeter which is wide enough for two people at a time with grass on one side and bushes on the other.

I cant see any evidence of the grass being churned up other than at the top of the park, where people playing rugby have walked across the grass in their studs.

Today Little Stoke Park is certainly popular with joggers and dog walkers perhaps oblivious to all the national media attention it has attracted.

One of the Parkrun organisers told me the group had been given to the end of May to sort things out.

People across the country are waiting to see what the outcome will be and whether it will encourage other councils to consider charging too.

That's it from BBC Local Live for today. Back tomorrow at 7am.

In your local newspapers

One more year for BCFC duo

Bobby Reid and forward Wes Burns
Getty Images

Bristol City has agreed contract extensions with two of its players.

Midfielder Bobby Reid and forward Wes Burns will stay with the club until 2017.

Read more here.

Parkrun charge decision: A lap of the park

The Little Stoke Park lap that everyone is talking about

So what is all the fuss about? 

Well, this is what a lap of Little Stoke Park looks like. Multiply it by three, add a few marshals and invite anybody and everybody to run the course - for free - every Saturday morning at 09:00 BST.

Everyone happy? Not quite. Parish councillors want some financial reimbursement for the wear and tear of the park and last night decided to ask Parkrun organisers to contribute.

A classroom or a telesales call centre?

A classroom has been turned into a telesales office for a primary school newspaper.

Pupils at a South Gloucestershire primary school have been learning how to sell advertising space.

Why? For their newspaper of course. It's all part of a scheme to help young people prepare for the world of work.

Parkrun charge decision: Park life

Little Stoke Park
BBC

Just 48 hours ago this park was not widely known about outside of Stoke Gifford, but it's a very different story now. 

BBC reporter Ian Parker has been to meet some of the local residents enjoying a quiet walk in the sunshine today.

David Bennett and his dog
BBC

David Bennett, 87, visits the park every day with his dog. 

He said he'd never experienced any problems with the runners and he was much in favour of the Saturday run.

Little Stoke Park
BBC

Parkrun charge decision: TV's Ben Fogle offers his garden

Stoke Gifford Parish Council should hang their heads in shame. We should be encouraging community health not charging for it #parkrun

Runners welcome to use my garden for free (you may get dizzy) #parkrun

Facebook support 'carried me along', says breast cancer fighter

How Facebook 'likes' helped a man through his battle with breast cancer.

How Facebook 'likes' helped David Talbot, from Olveston in South Gloucestershire, through his battle with breast cancer.

Parkrun decision: Paula Radcliffe joins in

Britain's marathon world record holder has her say:

Am totally against this short sighted decision. I fully support the right for this event for children to be free twitter.com/bbcnews/status…

Parkrun charge decision: Those who agree

A Parkrun race beginning
BBC

The council is certainly not alone in its decision to ask Parkrun to pay its way. 

Among the thousands responding on social media are some who can see the predicament.

Overlap between people furious councils have no money to repair pavements & those who think #parkrun should pay nowt for 100s using them?

And on the BBC Points West Facebook page...

Ali Huntley said: "This is not just a few friends getting together for a run. This si a big organised event. Other events in the park (football ) pay so why not Parkrun."  

Tom Baker wrote: "£1 a head wouldn't kill anybody, money to keep up the park and perhaps the rest could go to the NHS, Now is that really a big deal !!!!"

According to James Harrison: "It is an organised 'mass' event, rather than a handful of joggers. If the run were to be placed on the streets, then a charge for the closures and emergency services would be made. Just take it and swallow."

And Caroline Harrison posted: "If it's an organised event and the money paid goes towards the upkeep of the park then that's great but if it's just going into someone's pocket then that's wrong."

...and the weather today?

Parkrun decision 'starting to sink in'

Parkrun co-organiser Becky Bushnell said the decision was starting to sink in.

Becky Bushnell, the co-organiser of Little Stoke's Parkrun, said the parish council's decision to introduce a fee would mean a loss to the community.

Cllr Ernie Brown, also speaking live to Andy Howard on BBC Breakfast, said he fully understood the upset but the council was imposing a charge on the organisation, not the individual.

'I'd rather die than go back'

Irene Nel and daughter Desree Taylor
BBC

An unwell South African woman who is living illegally in Bristol has appealed to the government for clemency over her deportation.

Irene Nel, 73, came to the West Country on a tourist visa in 2012 but later became ill with kidney failure.

Her daughter said she will die if sent back.

The Home Office said "all cases were carefully considered" but Mrs Nel cannot remain in the UK.

Read the full story here.

What is Parkrun?

Runners
Getty Images

Thousands of free, timed, runs are held every Saturday morning across the country.

But how did Parkrun become a phenomenon?

Read more here.

Parkrun charge decision: 'Someone has to pay'

Ernie Brown, chair of Stoke Gifford Parish Council

Ernie Brown, chair of Stoke Gifford Parish Council, said the weekly organised running of hundreds of people causes wear and tear on the park, for which somebody has to pay.

Parkrun petition

Even the team behind the London Marathon has shifted its focus to those who run each Saturday morning in Little Stoke.

Oh, and double Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes.  

We stand behind @parkrunuk as free to all. Sign @LittleStokePark's online petition here chn.ge/1UYU9tc

Have I missed the whole reason park runs exist & are free? StokeGiffordParishCouncil decision is a disgrace .com 👎🏽 twitter.com/parkrunuk/stat…

The petition, calling on the parish council to drop the charge, has been signed by more than 15,000 people.      

The Parkrun predicament - 'Shocked and aghast'

A parish council votes to become the first to charge Parkrun a fee to use one of its parks.

Last night a group of councillors in South Gloucestershire took an opportunity to do what no council in the world has done before.

Stoke Gifford Parish Council voted "yes" to charge Parkrun a fee for the weekly use of one of its parks.

But their decision has not been without its critics. Thousands of them.

High cloud low cloud

To get the ball rolling, thank you to Lynette Smith for sharing this picture of the sunrise over Peasedown St John this morning.

"It was beautiful," she said.

Morning sky over Peasedown St John
Lynette Smith
The morning sky over Peasedown St John

Hello and good morning

A better start to the day weather-wise - enough to put a spring in our step.

Welcome to Local Live.

We'll have the latest news and information for Bristol, Bath and Weston-super-Mare through the day.