GreenSpace agrees to talk to ISPAL when it has new boss

Head of parks body looks to build bridges with Institute

By Matthew Appleby GreenSpace director Paul Bramhill has offered an olive branch in the dispute with the Institute of Sport, Parks & Leisure (ISPAL) over who will represent park managers at an institutional level. Bramhill said: “When a new chief executive officer is appointed at ISPAL we’ll be delighted to talk to them. In the meantime we’ll forge ahead with the Institute of Parks & Green Spaces (IPGS). “I think it is really important to work with ISPAL but it has been difficult to engage with it because of the [merger] situation there.” Bramhill envisages a 25,000-member group, including parks workers with enhanced skills after training. He adds that institutes of the past have been too narrow in focus and sees a “commonality” with heritage and ecology sectors with shared training in areas such as management. He said GreenSpace was going to launch a green space institute in September 2006 but changed its name to IPGS in order to “work with ISPAL better”. He added: “I don’t think that it’s a great idea to have two institutes. One port of call makes more sense. In the past, we’ve not had a strong institute and the focus has not been on parks. “Now we need to catch up. The industry wants strong leadership.” The Institute of Leisure & Amenity Management (ILAM), which merged to become ISPAL last year, has been in lengthy negotiations to deliver for GreenSpace services for its parks members. A representative said interviews for a new chief executive were ongoing. ISPAL parks representative Steve Smith has been trying to broker talks between the groups after they broke down late last year.

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