BALI statement on CLG Select Committee inquiry into public parks
Following publication of the Communities and Local Government Committee’s cross party report on the inquiry into public parks, BALI’s chief executive Wayne Grills commented as follows:
“BALI welcomes the recognition by the cross-party CLG committee that parks play a vital role in in the communities they serve. Asking the question ‘Why do parks matter?’, the committee has clearly sought and carefully considered contributions from the broad range of stakeholders on the value of parks and the many challenges facing the parks sector.
BALI believes it is essential that the Parks Minister, Andrew Percy MP, and his team continue to support and work proactively with Local Authorities on the consultation, development and implementation of green space strategies. The intention that the Minister report back annually to Parliament on progress made is welcomed.
The report clearly acknowledges that whilst volunteer groups make an important contribution to trying to hold back the deterioration of some public parks, there are limitations to relying on volunteers. The health and safety implications from poor maintenance are a major concern for Local Authorities and for BALI and its members operating in the parks sector. BALI believes that solutions involving volunteers should be carefully implemented, managed and monitored.
The report also acknowledges that parks need to be managed for the long term. BALI members who are already part of the ongoing solution providers and partners of Local Authorities, are keen to work with senior representatives at local and government level to help develop and drive forward viable and sustainable park maintenance strategies .”