The National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces (NFPGS) is the umbrella organisation
representing and amplifying the voices of the movement of over 6,000 local Friends Groups
throughout the UK
General Election - time to speak out for the UK's parks and green spaces
To all parks Friends/Community Groups around the UK [please forward to all contacts]
- Fields In Trust, the organisation campaigning for effective protection for all the UK's parks and recreational open spaces, has issued 'A Manifesto for Parks - putting local green spaces at the heart of our communities.' http://www.fieldsintrust.org/Upload/Documents/News/Fields_in_Trust_...
- The Parks Alliance, the lobbying and advocacy organisation for the green space sector, has issued a response to the Election, drawing on the Select Committee MPs' Report: http://www.hortweek.com/commitment-parks-task-force-open-space-stra...
MPs SOUND THE ALARM
The Communities & Local Government MPs' Select Committee Inquiry into Public Parks produced a report on the importance of the UK's parks and the unacceptable threats to their future. They also made a range of recommendations to urge immediate action, support for the Friends Groups movement, and strategic thinking at all levels. They had planned to reconvene to review the effectiveness of their recommendations in reversing the slide into crisis, but the calling of the General Election has created uncertainty about this. You can read more about this:
- The Committee Report: https://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmcomlo...
- What the public think: Https://spark.adobe.com/page/Cu7ttIsXspLhK/
OTHER PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEES RAISE FURTHER CONCERNS ABOUT GREEN SPACE
The NFPGS were invited to address the Tidy Britain All Party Parliamentary Group's AGM at Westminster in February 2017 regarding the best ways to support parks in difficult times. There was a great deal of concern expressed about the green space crisis and the need for urgent action to ensure parks are properly funded and managed. The NFPGS were also invited that month to Westminster to attend the All Party Parliamentary Group for Civic Societies to debate the Government's Housing White Paper and in particular concerns about inappropriate development threats to Green Belt and green space generally. The NFPGS view calling for the management of public green spaces to be made a statutory service was echoed by speaker Lord Shipley, the Liberal Democrat's Shadow Minister for Housing, and Vice President of the Local Government Association.
ACTION DEMANDED OVER CHILDREN'S PLAYGROUNDS UNDER THREAT
In April this year it was revealed that public service cuts have led to the closure of hundreds of children's playgrounds by local Councils. A spokesperson for the Association of Play Industries said that government investment of around £100m was needed to reverse the closures. He pointed out that this "goes against the Government's clear intention to get children more active and needs to be stopped as quickly as possible."
Your local parks/green spaces have their own specific issues and needs which ought to be heard and addressed. With over 6,000 local Friends Groups around the UK and millions of park lovers, this is a growing and powerful force and we encourage you to publicly raise the profile of your local parks and the benefits that they afford your local communities. Your group can influence future MPs and political parties who will make funding and other decisions that will impact your local parks. Please consider writing to your local newspapers too, joining radio phone-ins, and spreading ideas on social media.
This is an opportunity to make our local parks a priority.
Thank you for your efforts
Sarah Royal and Dave Morris
National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces