Lambeth targets park changes

Residents consulted over plans to give community groups bigger role in running borough's parks.

Brockwell Park: green spaces affected by borough council proposals
Brockwell Park: green spaces affected by borough council proposals

The London Borough of Lambeth has completed consulting with residents on a new form of green-space management giving greater responsibility to community groups.

The borough's Co-operative Parks Plan proposes that each of its 60 parks and open spaces, including Clapham Common and Brockwell Park, are managed either as part of its hub-and-spoke-style "pioneer parks" framework or its "partnership parks" structure.

The two proposals are part of a wider consultation on the council's cultural services as the south London borough looks to save £90m by 2018. This means that its green-space budget is being halved from £4.459m in 2014-15 to £2.259m in 2017-18.

The consultation also included a plan to generate income by holding at least 40 major commercial event days each year across all of its parks, common land and open spaces. The council wants two-thirds of all income from events to be put back into parks to improve facilities and infrastructure.

The pioneer park proposal will see local groups such as Friends of Brockwell Park independently managing parks and making all of the related decisions on services and activities - including grounds maintenance.

The hub-and-spoke part of the arrangement will see a "strategic park" supporting a host of nearby smaller parks and open spaces.

The remaining parks and open spaces will fall under the partnership parks structure, which will still give local people a strong role but decisions will be overseen by the borough's ward councillors, who will set priorities and help monitor contractors.

Council comment

"By 2018, where appropriate, we will have supported the development of these pioneer park arrangements, which will include bringing some of our smaller, lesser-used spaces into hub-and-spoke or cluster-based arrangements. This may include exploring transforming the spaces into community gardens, allotments, orchards or another use that meets the needs of the local communities."

London Borough of Lambeth representative

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