Educashion today

On one of the more obscure outposts of the council’s website you can find details about something called ‘Buggybuddies’, publicly funded keep fit sessions for yummy mummies. If you really feel the need to look it up yourself it can be found here:

You are here > Home > Leisure and culture > Fitness > Activities in the parks.

And here’s what it’s all about:

Buggy Buddies is a fun social activity for mums who are looking to get back in shape whilst exercising with their babies on a regular weekly outing.

Mums push their children in their buggies along a planned route with regular stops for warm-up stretches, circuit exercises, core training and cool down stretches.

When the session is completed mums usually ‘refuel’ and have a chat at a nearby baby-friendly café!

So far, so what? Just another absurd, small-scale city council job creation scheme for a middle class Southville mum and more of our council tax going on slightly daft, dubious and low priority activities for the middle classes (who the fuck else can get to the Downs or Ashton Court Estate with a buggy for a spot of exercise?).

No big deal then; just Bristol City Council business as usual. However, what really caught The Blogger’s eye was this:

Held by a degree-qualified and fully insured personal trainer

You what? There’s now a tailored degree course available in keep fit training with baby buggies? Has this got anything to do with UWE?

This entry was posted in Bristol, Education, Local government and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Educashion today

  1. Pingback: Exercise » Educashion today

  2. Matt says:

    My god this is the world gone mad! The H&S squad will bring the world to a halt if we don’t stop it!

  3. Greengage says:

    OK, when you put it like that, it sounds ludicrous. But to be fair, you’ve been a bit economical with the truth here:

    1. They also hold sessions in St. George’s Park for the mums of Barton Hill, Lawrence Hill and Redfield, many of whom cannot be described as middle class. Ditto the sessions in Bedminster.

    2. It actually costs £4 to take part, so it’s not wholly subsidised by the council tax payer.

    3. All working women are entitled to paid maternity leave when their babies are small, meaning that they’re free during the day for activities like this. So not just middle class yummy mummies then.

    Why is Buggy Buddies “daft, dubious and low priority” , and going for a swim in a council-run pool, or playing in the Downs League, ok? Surely not because the buddies with the buggies are female and have small children?

  4. thebristolblogger says:

    You need to look at this in terms of context and priorities. The context is a council that can’t afford to provide basic homecare and daycare to many extremely vulnerable and poor Bristolians any more. I’ve blogged about the reality of this council’s Fair Access to Care Services regime before.

    In this context Buggybuddies is, I’m afraid, “daft, dubious and low priority”. Our priority needs to be the vulnerable elderly and disabled who are being abandoned in this city en masse. I know because I’ve seen it.

    There is not an endless pot of money in Bristol for the state to provide solutions to everything that they perceive to be a problem any more. And there’s no shame at all in criticising the council’s spending decisions and priorities, any progressive should be. I’m not a local politician so I don’t need to spend my time making feel good pronouncements and uncosted promises.

    It’s now fairly well documented that state maternity and child services tend to be taken up and used by the middle classes rather than the working classes. The work and research done by Birkbeck College on Labour’s Sure Start scheme demonstrates this very well and it’s not the only piece of research to reach this conclusion.

    If criticising unnecessary and expensive state services, jobs, programmes, projects and policies now makes you a sexist. So be it.

  5. Greengage says:

    Of course we all need to think long and hard about the council’s spending priorities, and I agree that the way the elderly and disabled get marginalised is a disgrace.

    But that doesn’t mean the teenage mums of Barton Hill and their kids don’t deserve a break. This country still has a big problem with child poverty and underachievement. It’s easy to lose sight of this amidst the sentimentalised and sickening yummy mummy rhetoric of parenthood smeared all over the media.

    PS Your point about middle class take up of child services is true of every aspect of the welfare state. It doesn’t follow that we should abolish the NHS or state education, but that we have to fight for everyone to have access to schools and hospitals as good as those in the leafy suburbs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.