Councils picked to get expert help

The 30 local authorities in line to receive expert advice on their open spaces have been announced

The 30 local authorities in line to receive expert advice on their open spaces have been announced. Under the Commission for Architecture & the Built Environment’s CABE Space unit advisory scheme, consultants will be allocated to the councils to support and develop green space strategies. These will help councils improve the quality of parks, play areas and open areas. The chosen authorities come from across England — from Torbay Council in Devon to Sunderland City Council in Tyne & Wear. CABE Space campaigns adviser Anna Penning-Rowsell said: “We have matched them very carefully to the councils. We are not giving grants, just advice.” At the moment, consultants and local authorities will be working on green space strategies as a whole, although Penning-Rowsell said that there would possibly be the opportunity later for consultants to work on specific projects. She continued: “Local authorities are not thinking about how green spaces fit in to other council services.” Regeneration minister Yvette Cooper said: “The 30 authorities will be the first to benefit and by 2006, we hope that CABE Space will have used its skills to ensure all councils improve the state of their parks and green spaces. “We need to reclaim our city parks and green spaces with good design, more investment and better management.” The advisers were chosen in a competitive application process and include director of Community First Partnerships Ian Baggott, landscape architect Chris Blandford, garden designer Christopher Bradley-Hole and the Parks Agency director Dr Stewart Harding. L A full list of consultants and winning authorities is available from www.cabespace.org.uk.

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