Don’t penalise healthy habits

SIR, — There is increasing concern across the district about the new financial penalty being imposed on groups which organise road running events.

As a result of new legislation governing the administration work associated with road closures to allow events to take place in safety, organisers could have to fork out as much as £1,000 for a service that previously cost nothing.

I have been contacted by a number of organisations who will be adversely affected by this new legislation and many are deeply concerned. They face having to pay for the admin work associated with road closures and placing adverts in local papers to inform people when the events they are organising will be held.

Many groups fear they could be forced to the wall which will have a major impact on raising much-needed funds for charities and other good causes.

Newry, Mourne and Down Council, and indeed many other statutory organisations, are placing increasing emphasis on the need to keep fit and healthy. This new legislation will impact heavily on this desire.

There are many concerns which need to be addressed and I hope greater clarity on the full impact of the new legislation will emerge over the coming weeks.

Yours etc,