Laura Sharman 28 September 2016

Councils should have legal duty to protect parks, says public

Three quarters of the public believe councils should have a statutory duty to protect parks, a new survey has revealed.

The polling, conducted on behalf of campaign group We Own It, also found 70% of people are against the privatisation of public parks. 

The latest report from the Heritage Lottery Fund found more than half of local authorities are set to sell off their parks or transfer the management of them over the next three years.

Cat Hobbs, director of We Own It, said: 'The idea of privatising parks is hugely unpopular and it should be completely ruled out by government and councils.

'Public parks are precious green spaces that belong to all of us - but cuts could mean a slippery slope towards sell offs. There should be a new legal duty to protect parks for the future.’

Dave Morris, chair of the National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces added: 'Rather than accept the deepening underfunding crisis we call on the public to demand these vital spaces become a statutory service to ensure they are well managed and secure for current and future generations to enjoy.'

A Government inquiry into the future of public parks closes this Friday.

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