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Inquiry launched to address UK’s greenspace underfunding crisis

Parliament’s Communities and Local Government Select Committee has announced an inquiry into the future of the UK’s public parks, following calls over the last five years for the government to address the under funding crisis threatening the UK’s green spaces.

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.’

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 a call circulated by the National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces.

This stated that 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, and ensure adequate public resources and protection for all green spaces.

Commenting about the announcement of an inquiry, Dave Morris, chair of National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces, said: “We believe this should be the starting point for the response from the 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 our opinion it is the only realistic approach. Indeed no other comprehensive strategy has ever been put forward.

“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.”

The deadline for responses and evidence is September 30 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/

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