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Bristol City Council launch city-wide consultation on the future of Bristol’s parks and green spaces

By April 2019 the council will need to save at least £2.868million from its budget for day to day parks’ services. This means services will need to be run in a very different way, working in partnership with communities to look at income generation opportunities, while also making savings and making services as efficient as possible.

The council is now consulting on a number of proposals for 2018 and 2019 that will help achieve the savings target.

Of the £2.868M required to be saved from the budget, it is currently predicted that £490K can be saved by making efficiencies and reducing parks services. This will not result in the closure of any parks. The aim is that the rest can be achieved by generating income.

Ideas up for discussion in the consultation include:
• Increasing income from cafes and concessions, including ice cream vans.
• Introducing appropriate advertising in parks and green spaces.
• Introducing new, competitive fees and charges for any businesses operating from a park or green space.
• Introducing new fee-paying activities into parks – including inflatables, camping, adventure golf and car boot sales.

The council is exploring a wide range of options to generate more income from parks which could be implemented from 2018. This approach is intended to mean that cuts to parks services are limited.

The consultation also sets out some of the key commitments for the service. These include:
• Continuing to ensure free access for all to the city’s parks.
• Generating income from our parks that we will use directly to support their maintenance and improvement.
• Welcoming community management of local spaces, supporting volunteering and neighbourhood decision-making.
• Recognising that our parks are vital for our health and wellbeing and ensuring they are attractive and accessible for all our citizens.
• Ensuring that the planning process protects green space from development where green space is needed and where it helps protect the city from high temperatures and local flooding during heavy rainfall

Maintaining and investing in parks and green spaces is getting more and more difficult as council budgets become smaller. However, there is a real opportunity for a thriving city such as Bristol to come up with innovative approaches to sustain city green space for the future.

This consultation is one of a series of consultations launched today alongside Bristol City Council’s draft Corporate Strategy and budget proposals 2018/19.

Bristol City Council is consulting on its five-year plan for the city and a range of ways to close its budget gap of £108 million between April 2018 and April 2023.

The proposals published today outline ways to make the £52 million worth of savings required next year (2018/19).

You can take part by completing an online survey on the council’s Consultation Hub here: www.bristol.gov.uk/parksconsultation

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