Can you put a price on the fun kids get from bombing around the park and hurtling head first down the slides? Well if you're Eddie Lister, the Tory leader of Wandsworth Council, you can, and it'll be £2.50, please. In possibly the craziest 'effect of government cuts' story we've seen in a long time, Wandsworth council is planning to CHARGE kids to use one of its playgrounds.
The barmy charge - dubbed a 'tax on fun' - will be levied on youngsters aged five to 16 using Battersea Park's adventure playground from this October. The fee - which will only be payable at weekends - is to be introduced because the 'almost unique facility' is mainly attracting visitors from other parts of the capital whilst local Wandsworth tax payers foot the bill for its upkeep.
Hundreds of furious parents have signed an online petition to scrap the plans, including former London Mayor Ken Livingstone, who said the idea of charging children to play in the park left him 'deeply concerned'.
So what do you think?
With an annual maintenance charge of £200,000, can you understand the council's concerns that local residents' taxes are paying for wear and tear inflicted from people outside of the borough?
Is £2.50 really that unreasonable an admission fee? Or should playgrounds ALWAYS be free, no matter who is using them?