More MPs rally to Make Parks a Priority campaign

HW's campaign for Parliamentary inquiry into parks crisis draws support from seven more MPs.

The Make Parks A Priority Campaign is urging MPs to sign EDM 219 - image:HW
The Make Parks A Priority Campaign is urging MPs to sign EDM 219 - image:HW

A further seven MPs have signed an early day motion supporting Horticulture Week's call for an inquiry into the crisis in funding for urban parks - bringing the total of MPs that have given their backing so far to 30.

The latest signatories - Richard Burden (Labour, Birmingham Northfield), Hugh Bayley (Labour, York Central), Ann Coffey (Labour, Stockport), Frank Dobson (Labour, Holborn and St Pancras), George Galloway (Respect, Bradford West), John Leech (Liberal Democrat, Manchester Withington) and Caroline Lucas (Green, Brighton Pavilion) - have joined since Parliament reopened on 4 September.

Early Day Motion 219, which draws attention to both the disproportionate budget cuts facing parks and the lack of a national champion within central Government, was laid out in July by supportive MPs following the launch of Horticulture Week's campaign.

As well as drawing support from countless green-space professionals across the UK who have written to their MPs asking for their support, the campaign has also won backing from key professional associations across the industry, green-space charities and public bodies.

These groups include the Association of Gardens Trusts, National Federation of Parks & Green Spaces (the umbrella organisation for friends groups across the UK), Chartered Institution of Water & Environmental Management, Groundwork UK, GreenSpace, the Institute of Horticulture and the London Parks & Green Spaces Forum.

How you can help

Please write to your MP asking them to sign EDM219. Also, spread the word among your professional network and friends groups. For a copy of HW's campaign statement and template lobbying letter, see www.HorticultureWeek.co.uk/makeparksapriority or email kate.lowe@haymarket.com.

Olympic legacy - Helping to make the link with sporting activity

Parks advocate Professor Ken Worpole is asking parks and grounds care managers for urgent help with research that aims to remake the case for local authority parks in terms of their importance in the physical well-being of the nation. The research will be presented at an upcoming conference on the future of parks in October.

As an illustration of what is needed, Worpole said in his local park some 20 tennis players who reached the top 20 national ratings emerged as a result of investment in the park's tennis facilities.

Please send your examples of sports development to worpole@blueyonder.co.uk.


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