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Two weeks left to share views on plans for Bristol’s parks

People in Bristol have two more weeks to have their say on new plans for the city’s parks and green spaces.

So far 1,266 citizens have shared their views on the proposals via Bristol City Council’s Consultation Hub.

The Council needs to reduce spending on parks by at least £2.868m a year by April 2019. This means services will need to be run in a very different way, working more closely with communities and seeking opportunities to generate income, as well as making services as efficient as possible.

The current consultation, which is open until 29 January, outlines a number of proposals for 2018 and 2019 to help achieve the savings target.

Of the £2.868m savings requirement, it is currently predicted that £490,000 can be saved by making efficiencies and reducing parks services. This will not result in the closure of any parks.

In order to retain as many parks services as possible, the intention is that the rest of the required savings can be made by generating income from parks.

Ideas outlined in the consultation include:
• Increasing income from cafés 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

Depending on the outcome of the consultation, some of these changes could be implemented from 2018.

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

Bristol’s parks and green spaces are a vital part of the city’s infrastructure.  Parks are good for the physical and emotional wellbeing of citizens, as well as helping to make Bristol an attractive tourist destination.

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.

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

Anyone with a disability or particular access needs can request alternative formats by contacting the Consultation Team on consultation@bristol.gov.uk or by calling 0117 922 2848.

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