|Posted on 31 July, 2016 at 13:50|
This blog has being coming for a while now and for a number of reasons:-
- Watford has been lucky (actually not lucky, but has worked bloody hard) to be awarded 8 Green Flag Awards this month and I attended a great ceremony at Waltham Forest Town Hall followed by Watersmeet in Rickmansworth with colleagues to pick up our awards
- Watford has won a great award for best Parks Restoration Project in 2016 for the Watford Parks Inprovement Programme
- The wonderful feedback on my Great British Parks book which I am so proud of.
- A group from Lancaster contacted me about the apalling state of their local park and their bandstand within it and the fact that the local council, Lancaster City Council are refusing to work with a local group and they actually feel discriminated against because they are in a more deprived area. Ryelands Park in Lancaster was in my view a dump. The bandstand was the worst example of wanton vandalism I have seen in years by a council. Yet the council seem to ignore its heriatge here, the needs of a local community and seem more intent on dedicating the park to monster truck kind of events and to ignore community needs.
- The announcement at last that there is now to be a Government public inquiry into the state of our public parks - link below.
"Councils might be desperate for cash, but charging parkrun isn’t the solution" Guardian 15th April 2016
But in MOST cases, the answer is decent funding for decent parks and managed by local authorities. The sector is struggling to be heard and has one singular voice - the Parks Alliance but not much else.
A glimmer of light on the horizon? a new governement in place - same policies possibly but a new Prime Minister and Cabinet who might listen. What have we got though - a public inquiry into public parks. This is so important and if you care about our natural health service then you need to play your part, whether as an individual, or as an organisation, group, Friends Group, local authority. Our green spaces and public parks matter. Without quality parks and green spaces, we are all less well off. Remember why we had public parks in the first place? Easily cut, easily lost? without doubt and we would be worse off without them.
The inquiry link is below. Please do your bit.