Parks and green spaces are falling into ‘disrepair’ because of budget cuts, freedom of information requests reveal.
According to FOI responses from 172 councils responsible for parks in Britain, more than £15m has been cut from parks and green spaces budgets between 2016/17 and 2018/19.
Published by the trade union Unison, the figures also revealed that more than half (59%) of the respondents had cut their parks and green spaces budgets between 2016/17 and 2018/19.
The biggest cut, Unison found, was in Warwickshire County Council, which slashed its parks and green spaces budget by 87% in one year, reducing spending from £108,268 in 2016/17 to £14,184 in 2017/18.
The new data comes after a recent report from the charity Fields in Trust showed that parks provide people with over £34bn of health and wellbeing benefits.
‘Parks and green spaces are a vital local service, contributing to the health and well-being of communities in many ways,’ said Unison general secretary Dave Prentis.
‘But years of funding cuts have left many of our parks run-down, under-staffed, and in need of urgent attention.’