William Eichler 19 September 2017

Councils support parks research despite funding pressures

Council chiefs have thrown their support behind a new Government-created group looking into the future of parks despite funding pressures.

The parks and green spaces minister, Marcus Jones MP, has announced the creation of an advisory Parks Action Group which will look into the future of parks and green spaces.

The announcement was made as the charity Fields in Trust, who will be represented on the group, released new research demonstrating a ‘direct and statistically significant’ link between publicly accessible parks and green spaces and health and well being.

Based on new analysis of existing data from Defra and Natural England and a new primary data (sample size 4,033), the charity found, on average, the more frequently park/green space trips are made, the higher an individual’s wellbeing.

They also found green spaces were good for producing community connections and helping to reduce the risk of loneliness.

‘I welcome the Ministers response to the CLG Parliamentary Committee and Fields in Trust’s appointment to the newly established Parks Action Group at this pivotal moment for the future of parks and green spaces,’ said the charity’s chief executive, Helen Griffiths.

‘Our ongoing research recognises how these spaces help to address significant public policy issues including health and wellbeing and community integration.

‘We are looking forward to furthering our work with colleagues across the sector to ensure that we value parks and green spaces and take account of the vital contribution they make to local communities.’

A Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) report into the state of the UK’s parks published last year found that Government cuts were impacting upon the running of parks.

It found 92% of park managers reported cuts to their revenue budget over the past three years and 95% of park managers expect their revenue budget to be cut over the next three years.

The charity also noted its agreement with the report which stated: ‘continued local authority leadership is needed. As owners of most public parks and green spaces, councils have a pivotal role in ensuring the continued provision of quality parks.’

Responding to the creation of the Parks Action Group, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, chair of the Local Government Association’s (LGA) culture, tourism and sport board, said: ‘Councils understand how important parks are to residents as community assets, and are using them to promote health and fitness, local heritage, public art, festivals and wildlife walks, as well as to provide pop-up spaces, host local events and give communities a say in how their parks are run.

‘However, despite ongoing funding pressures, which are having an impact on maintenance budgets, councils are determined to ensure parks remain open and accessible to our communities, which is why we fully support this Parks Action Group, which we hope will help protect public parks for the enjoyment of current and future generations.’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Social Worker (Safeguarding)

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£30,984 - £35,336
The safeguarding team have an excellent opportunity for an experienced qualified Social Worker. Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Housing Officer

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£32,427
We currently have an opportunity for a Housing Officer. Wandsworth, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

OD Lead – Employee Experience and ED&I

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£36,853 to £47,784
At Richmond and Wandsworth Councils, we are serious about tackling inequalities. Wandsworth, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Integrated Service Manager

Lancashire County Council
£43,857-£47,847
An exciting opportunity has arisen in Children and Family Wellbeing Service for the appointment of a Permanent Integrated Service Manager. Accrington, Lancashire
Recuriter: Lancashire County Council

Care Assistant - Westminster Homecare

Essex County Council
Up to £23088 per annum
Care Assistant - Westminster HomecarePermanent, Full Time£12.00Location
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.