Laura Sharman 13 February 2017

Public parks at ‘tipping point’ due to funding cuts

Public parks at ‘tipping point’ due to funding cuts image

Public parks are facing a period of decline due to budget cuts of up to 97%, a new report has warned.

The Public Parks report, published by the Communities and Local Government (CLG) Committee, found parks were being forced to compete with other services for funding. It calls on council to publish strategic plans to recognise the value of parks beyond leisure and recreation.

It also said fundamental service transformation and innovation in finding funding sources was required to sustain parks in the long term.

Clive Betts, chair of the CLG Committee, said: ‘Every local authority should have a strategic plan, recognising that parks are much more than just grass and tulips and bringing in resources from outside the traditional budgets. Parks make vital contributions to physical and mental health and bring significant community benefits. They also contribute to biodiversity and climate change mitigation and can assist in local economic growth.

‘Parks are treasured public assets, as the overwhelming response to our inquiry demonstrates, but they are at a tipping point, and if we are to prevent a period of decline with potentially severe consequences then action must be taken.’

The report also highlighted that the unequal distribution of parks meant people in deprived areas were struggling to access the benefits that parks can offer.

Responding to the report, Matthew Bradbury, chairman of The Parks Alliance, said: ‘Fundamentally, we believe there is a case for greater leadership to ensure our public parks and open spaces thrive.

'We would go further than the report and ask that investment is directed by central government to ensure there is strong leadership in the parks sector. If this comparatively small investment is made, it will deliver huge return in terms of improved wellbeing, social cohesion and environmental management.’

Participatory budgeting image

Participatory budgeting

Evgeny Barkov explains what participatory budgeting means and how it can reveal what citizens need.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Home Ownership Officer

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£29,000 - £39,200 per annum
Are you motivated by delivering excellent customer service, a varied workload and an opportunity to grow? Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Assistant Head of TriBorough Insurance

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£43,300 - £58,500 per annum
An opportunity to lead the Tri-Borough Insurance Service technical team reporting to the Head of Service. Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Educational Psychologist

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£41,200 - £55,800 per annum
Looking for a fully qualified educational psychologist registered with Social Work England, or eligible for such registration. Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Social Worker x2 (Blackheath and Rowley Community Social Work Team)

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£29,636 - £33,799 per annum
We are looking to recruit 2 full time (37 hours) permanent Social Workers in the Blackheath and Rowley Community Social Work Team.  Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Childcare Solicitors (career graded)

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£40,760 per annum progressing to Band I up to £49,538 per annum
You must have the ability to deal with a complex and demanding caseload, with excellent client care skills, and... Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue