Renewed call for parks' inquiry submissions at APSE seminar

Parks professionals were again urged to contribute to the Communities and Local Government Committee's parks inquiry as the deadline approaches at a national parks seminar today.

Some parks are suffering under austerity. Image: Peter Neal
Some parks are suffering under austerity. Image: Peter Neal

Speaking at the APSE Parks and Open Spaces Seminar held in City Hall, London, second clerk to the committee Helen Finlayson reminded delegates there is just one week left to submit evidence to the inquiry.

So far it has received more than 100 formal responses and more than 6,000 people have filled out the online park users’ survey.

She outlined the three main elements to the inquiry.

1)      Why parks matter, why are they important to people and what are they used for?

2)      What is the current state of parks?

3)      How do we secure the future of parks?

Finlayson said it was this third aspect which she thinks is most important, with interesting and innovative ways of funding parks in operation across the UK.

"You know what you’re doing on the ground you know what your neighbouring authority is doing, you know what works," she said.

She said that people should "not panic" about the terms of reference, which encompasses a range of issues the committee is interested in.

"Please don’t be put off by that," she said. "If you’ve got one two things you want to say its fine to focus in on one or two. What we want to hear is what people think is important and what they think the committee needs to know."

Finlayson told Horticulture Week that there was a perception that it was mainly oral evidence that a select committee took notice of but this was not the case.

"The written evidence helps to shape the oral evidence sessions but it helps to shape the report as well."

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