|Recently 10 national greenspace organisations and 9 government departments held the first ‘let’s get down to business’ meeting of the new Parks Action Group (PAG).
The PAG has been set up to safeguard and enhance the UK’s public green spaces as a coordinated response to the growing underfunding crisis. Those present discussed a range of key issues facing our parks, and started the setting up of six high-level Working Groups to tackle parks funding, maintaining standards, developing vision and value, safeguarding knowledge and skills, increasing usage, and empowering communities.
Things have come a long way since the petition 5 years ago calling for a National Inquiry into the funding of parks, and that parks be designated a statutory service funded mainly through taxation. In 2016 a Select Committee of MPs held such an Inquiry and made a series of recommendations to the Government, one of which was the setting up of the PAG.
Another recommendation was support for spreading local Friends of Parks Forums to all local authority areas. The National Federation of Parks & Green Spaces will be leading on that, and also continuing to call for the UK’s 27,000 local parks to be properly recognised, funded and managed.
The National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces (NFPGS) is the umbrella organisation that aims to amplify the voices of Friends Groups across the UK.