Government plan could aid parks groups

A radical scheme has been launched that is designed to give people the power to demand change in their communities through public petitions.

Communities secretary Hazel Blears has revealed more details about the "petition powers" scheme, which could potentially be used by friends groups to demand improvements to local parks.

Blears said: "These new powers would mean the concerns of local people can no longer be filed away and ignored, and ensure we have a more responsive culture."

She added: "New petition powers would put more influence, power and control in the hands of communities, leading to greater action to tackle their concerns and improving the health of our local democracy."

Under the plan, councils would be required to respond to petitions submitted by residents on any issue that the local council has responsibility for, such as parks and open spaces.

At present, councils are not required to respond to petitions, but under the proposed system councils would have to respond to any gaining significant support. Mechanisms are being developed to ensure the council does not ignore a petition.

If approved, the scheme could take effect from 2009, depending on whether legislation is required.

Parks consultants have already raised concerns over the plans (HW, 12 July), with one worried that people at a local level would not have enough knowledge or overview to make a balanced decision.

Consultation on the proposal closes 20 March.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Sargent's solutions - how to attract the best staff for your business

Sargent's solutions - how to attract the best staff for your business

There are ways to find quality candidates for horticultural jobs if you widen your search parameters, Alan Sargent suggests.

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

An effective strategy to retain staff is the best way for any business to avoid a potential recruitment crisis, Neville Stein advises.

IoG Saltex 2017 - Kit showcase

IoG Saltex 2017 - Kit showcase

Mowers, turf care, battery equipment, seeds, arboriculture kit and weed control will all see a wide range of new releases at Saltex, Sally Drury reports.

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

IOG Saltex

Get set for IoG Saltex 2017 with our comprehensive show guide and exhibitor info.

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Industry Data

An exclusive report for HW subscribers revealing the key development trends, clients and locations for 2017.

Products & Kit Resources

BALI National Landscape Awards 2016

Read all about the winning projects in the awards, run in association with Horticulture Week.

Noel Farrer

Founding partner of Farrer Huxley Associates Noel Farrer on landscape and green space

Read Noel Farrer