Sunday, November 09, 2014

Leisure attraction bans single people "on child protection grounds"

Back in 2008 I blogged about a bizarre policy of Telford and Wrekin Council. As so often, I quoted the Shropshire Star:
Council staff on the lookout for paedophiles have been ordered to stop and quiz any adults found walking in Telford Town Park without a child, it was revealed today. 
Anyone who wants to go to the park but is not accompanied by at least one youngster will have to explain why they are there.
Today, courtesy of the Western Gazette, comes news that Puxton Park, "a family-orientated leisure attraction near Weston-super-Mare," has banned single people from visiting "on child protection grounds."

The park's managing director, Alistair Mead, is quoted as defending this bizarre policy in the following terms:
"There is a lot in the headlines about paedophiles and things that are going on with children. 
"We have done our research and in line with all other parks we don't let single men or women in."
You wonder how extensive this research was.

And Mr Mead should bear in mind what happened in Telford. As a later post, quoting the Telford Journal, explained:
Conservative Councillor Denis Allen was suddenly axed from his cabinet position this week as member for community services. 
Last week it was revealed Councillor Allen was taking a month-long break from his role, prompting rumours that he had been suspended. 
Telford & Wrekin, however, put out a statement saying Councillor Allen had been advised to take a “well deserved rest.” 
And there's more: 
now the leader of the Labour group, Keith Austin, says Councillor Allen had come under fire - and was under investigation - over the Telford Town Park paedophile fiasco. 
He was the one who authorised routine stop-checks on single people walking in the park’s recreational areas, claimed Councillor Austin.

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