Parliamentary committee parks inquiry oral sessions get underway

A petition calling for MPs to recommend parks be made a statutory service will be the first evidence to be examined by The Communities and Local Government (CLG) Committee as its parks inquiry oral sessions start on Monday.

Parks will come under the spotlight in Westminster on Monday
Parks will come under the spotlight in Westminster on Monday

The petition by campaign group 38 Degrees, has been signed by 273,746 people so far and representatives from 38 Degrees will present the "save our parks" petition to the Committee before being asked why local authorities should have a statutory duty to protect and maintain public parks, at 4pm.

Vice chair of The Parks Alliance Sue Ireland, author of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)’s State of UK Public Parks reports and parks consultant Peter Neal and HLF head of landscape and natural heritage Drew Bennellick and Ellie Robinson, National Trust assistant director of external affairs will follow.

Chair of the National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces Dave Morris, Ben Shimshon, founding partner of research and strategy consultancy Britain Thinks, Emma Boggis, chief executive of the Sports and Recreation Alliance and Will Smithard, strategic projects director at not-for-profit organisation ukactive will follow at 5pm.

Ireland told Horticulture Week that The Parks Alliance was pleased it had been asked to speak at the inquiry and welcomed the opportunity to make the case for parks.

The City of London Corporation, where Ireland is director of green spaces, is also one of the near 400 organisations and individuals which sent in a formal submission to the parks inquiry. The committee has now published the majority of them online. In addition more than 13,000 surveys were completed online or face to face in parks between the launch of the inquiry and 30 September.

The public session will take place in the Thatcher Room, Portcullis House and can be viewed live on Parliament TV.

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