"Paved paradise to put up a parking lot"

Rugby - Barby Rd. Rugby School Playing Field

Greedy Councils would love to sell off this type of school playing field Wikipedia

Joni Mitchell‘s

famous song 

lamented loss of green fields

 

And Government plans mean we are about to lose even more of our open spaces.  Open spaces were we could play and run around, kick a football, play around – and generally work off steam.  We were kept busy playing around, didn’t have time to get bored, and worked off the doughnuts and Chelsea buns that were our fast food.

Today, there are far fewer open spaces for kids.

So, bored kids go rioting

The Government howls about obesity

– is anyone surprised?

When we take away playing fields and areas where kids can let off steam (and incidentally get healthy exercise to prevent obesity) and the inevitable is fat, bored, lazy kids.

Not so much fun, is it?

Greedy Councils are taking away our birthright

If we don’t fight Councils and developers, we will soon end up with not a blade of grass to be seen.  Grass could even be on the ‘endangered’ list if we don’t watch out.

In our little area of Chelsea there was a ‘kick-about’ area where local teenagers used to play football of an evening – except during two weeks of Wimbledon when hitting a ball against a wall with an old tennis racket took over.  There were always a large group of kids there every evening.

But our Council decided to be PC, close this down and build a mega-expensive tiny tots playground, with state-of-the-art all-weather equipment, and covered in rubberised flooring.  This left just half a tennic court area for a totally inadequate kick-about area for teenagers.  The irony is that 90% of the time the playground is now empty;  there are often none or at most two kids playing when I go past.

Result?  Bored teenagers only have streets to wander in, so trash car mirrors for something to do.

Near by, Westfield Park was created to satisfy the law that says we have to have more open spaces.  Bulldozers moved in, and created an open, grassed-over area with a domed effect, so making it difficult for kids to play football.  How nasty is that?

Where can we exercise?

The NHS was founded on the principle that if people could get free healthcare, their illnesses would soon be cured, leaving fewer cases to treat.  Huh!

Preventative medicine is something that is totally alien to today’s NHS hierachial thinking.

  • How many hospitals have well-equipped gyms?  Just about every major hospital will have one in the Physio Dept.
  • And how many have programmes to encourage patient and ex-patients to take exercise, and use the gym equipment?  Not ours – and I doubt if many others do either.

It is the most incredible waste of a valuable asset to see hospital gyms lying idle after 5 pm, and all over the weekend.  Yet St. Thomas’ Hospital in London paid thousands for a large metal sign to go up on the wall:  Serving the Community.  Well, if providing exercise facilities isn’t serving – I don’t know what is.

With private gyms and health clubs costing upwards of £50 a month for membership, hospitals could offer exercise classes as a service to the community, and do their bit to prevent obesity.

  • Charge for these
  • Pay Physios overtime to run them
  • And let patients benefit from them

If we follow European hospital practice, we could offer exercise for

  1. weight loss
  2. bikini bodies
  3. osteoporosis
  4. post cardiac treatment
  5. joint aches and pains
  6. maintaining mobility
  7. Get fit for football
  8. OAP fit and healthy ‘club’.

etc. etc.

Reality

Fired up with enthusiasm after a trip to Italy to see how medical centres there treat osteoporosis with exercise, I ask Chelsea and Westminster Hospital if I could join exercise classes to help reverse osteoporosis?  No – we don’t do this.

So I ask why not, since exercise will strengthen bones etc. and help prevent fractures.  Ah!  No problem.  The hospital is fully geared up to deal with fractures (cost?  possibly around £12,000 per case?)

So no glimmer of even looking at what our cousins get in Europe, even though Cameron and La La Lansley constantly say how much better care is there.

And the irony is, my mother was on the Friends’ committee that raised money for the expensive TechnoGym equipment for this hospital, that lies idle for much of the time.

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