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Tread carefully on parks

Glasgow City Council's consultation on the use of public parks has got off to a shaky start to say the least.

First, there was concern about a proposed rule to keep dogs on leads at all times. Now parents are worried about plans to change how nurseries and other children's groups use the parks.

Gillian Robertson of the West Central Childcare Forum, which represents nurseries in the west end of Glasgow, is among those who have criticised a proposed rule that would require kindergartens and other childcare groups to seek written permission before using a park. As Ms Robertson points out, with a trip outdoors being so dependent on the weather in Scotland, it would be unrealistic to expect nursery staff to seek permission every time they wanted to take children to the park.

But, even worse, the council's proposals appear to place an obstacle in the way of the important objective of helping children to play outdoors as much as possible. The benefits for children of learning, and playing, in the fresh air are also well known.

The council is right to encourage the responsible use of the city's parks. But it must careful not to discourage those who have most to gain from them.

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