Parliamentary public inquiry launched on parks underfunding

Deadline for submissions to inquiry: 30 September. See link below

Historic opportunity to speak out loud and clear for urgent, effective, comprehensive and long-term Government action to reverse the underfunding crisis and to protect the UK’s public green spaces for generations to come.

Great news! After much lobbying and calls over the last 5 years for Government action to address the underfunding crisis threatening the UK’s green spaces,  Parliament’s Communities and Local Government Select Committee has announced an Inquiry into the future of the UK’s public parks. The Inquiry will ‘examine the impact of reduced local authority budgets on these open spaces and consider concerns that their existence is under threat…’…  ‘The Committee will look at how parks should be supported now and in the future.’  The deadline for responses and evidence is September 30th 2016** , and the full details can be read at:http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/communities-and-local-government-committee/news-parliament-2015/public-parks-launch-16-17/

In 2014/15 thousands of managers, professionals, advocates, experts and activists in the green space sector – plus a range of key organisations from Groundwork to Unison, from the Countryside Management Association to Fields In Trust – signed up to the following call circulated by the National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces:

The Government must:
hold a National Inquiry into the funding and management of the UK’s green spaces
bring in a Statutory Duty to monitor and manage these spaces to Green Flag Award standard
ensure adequate public resources and protection for all green spaces

The National Federation of Public Parks and Green Spaces  believe this should be the starting point for the response from whole sector and for all those who care about the future of the estimated 27,000 public parks and green spaces of all kinds. In their opinion it is the only realistic approach. Indeed no other comprehensive strategy has ever been put forward.

Key questions for the Inquiry are:
What the administrative status of parks should be in light of declining local authority resources for non-statutory service. Should it become a statutory service? 
What additional or alternative funding is available? For example, should there be Government support including via local and national taxation?

This is a historic opportunity to speak out loud and clear for urgent, effective, comprehensive and long-term Government action to reverse the underfunding crisis and to protect the UK’s public green spaces for generations to come. Please add your voice.

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