Laura Sharman 11 July 2016

MPs to examine how best to protect public parks

MPs to examine how best to protect public parks image

The impact council budget cuts have had on public parks and open spaces will be considered in a new Government inquiry.

The Communities and Local Government (CLG) Committee has launched a public parks inquiry to examine if parks are under threat from funding cuts. It will also explore how new funding and management models could be introduced in the future.

Chair of the CLG Committee Chair, Clive Betts, said: ‘Whether it is kicking the ball about with friends, joining a Parkrun, walking the dog or just relaxing with a book, people value their local parks. But with councils under enormous financial pressures and with no legal obligation to fund and maintain public parks, these precious community resources may be at risk.

‘The Committee will be asking what the future is for our open spaces and we want to explore the ways in which parks can be supported and secured for generations to come. We will be keen to find out about innovative and successful approaches to managing and funding parks and what Government can do to support these.’

The inquiry will also consider the contribution parks make to the health and well-being of local communities, how councils can generate income from park users, and how new and existing parks can best be supported.

Merrick Denton-Thompson, president of the Landscape Institute, said: ‘Quality green infrastructure helps society tackle a range of other critical issues from species loss, to social cohesion and climate-change mitigation and adaptation. These issues are more acute than ever, but continuing budget cuts over many years and changes in planning policy have meant the downgrading of the requirement to put in place quality landscape for green spaces and parks. Quality is being eroded.

‘All new developments should consider the need for new green infrastructure and improvements to existing spaces with adequate consideration to its maintenance and management. Today many local authority planners and green space officers will tell you that this is not a priority in their borough. We should be smarter with our resources, recognising that capital expenditure should go hand in hand with provision for revenue expenditure.’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Trainee Craft Employee x6

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£18,795 - £19,945 per annum
Seeking to recruit several Trainee Carpenters within the Asset Management and Maintenance Service. Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Social Worker - Family Support & Protection

Essex County Council
£26001.0 - £30000.0 per annum
Please note this role is based in Clacton and is open to Newly Qualified Social Workers (NQSWs). The starting salary for NQSWs is £27,775 per annum an England, Essex, Clacton-On-Sea
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Corporate Director of Neighbourhoods and Climate Change

Durham County Council
£148,583
You will manage a range of front-line services including bins and waste, transport, environmental health, technical services, partnerships and... Durham (County)
Recuriter: Durham County Council

Corporate Director of Regeneration, Economy and Growth

Durham County Council
£148,583
Seeking candidates who are adept at building relationships, able to work successfully with regional and national partners... Durham (County)
Recuriter: Durham County Council

Tenancy Enforcement Assistant

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£22.377 - £23.607
Looking for individuals who have an interest in the environment with good customer service skills, flexible approach to work and a good team player. Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

This issue of Local Government News explores how councils can tackle modern slavery and trafficking in their supply chains, finds out more about Cambridge's first cohousing scheme and the launch of a new project to build a shared service pattern library for local government.

This issue also contains a special focus on children's services and how councils are protecting children following local safeguarding children boards being abolished.

Register for your free magazine