Report stresses importance of public space in Big Society plan

The Government must protect public spaces and organisations that support them to stimulate public engagement in the "Big Society" agenda, according to a recent report by the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES).

Big Society: Social Action & the Role of Public Space, published in partnership with environmental charity Groundwork, highlighted the role that public spaces take in encouraging social action and developing "citizenship skills".

The report said that public space development programmes encourage social skills such as political knowledge, understanding planning and funding streams and partnership working.

However, a greater understanding of community motivations was needed to maintain public willingness to engage in social action, the report stated.

Report author and CLES senior consultant Stuart MacDonald said organisations that facilitate and support open spaces at a local level must be protected in order to create the Big Society.

"There are tough decisions to be made, but local government must not be short-sighted," he added. "If local civil society organisations such as Groundwork disappear, it will close down routes towards a Big Society.

"Obviously there won't be the same level of funding, but environment and public space is a way we can involve everyone in society."

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Sargent's solutions - how to attract the best staff for your business

Sargent's solutions - how to attract the best staff for your business

There are ways to find quality candidates for horticultural jobs if you widen your search parameters, Alan Sargent suggests.

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

An effective strategy to retain staff is the best way for any business to avoid a potential recruitment crisis, Neville Stein advises.

IoG Saltex 2017 - Kit showcase

IoG Saltex 2017 - Kit showcase

Mowers, turf care, battery equipment, seeds, arboriculture kit and weed control will all see a wide range of new releases at Saltex, Sally Drury reports.

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

IOG Saltex

Get set for IoG Saltex 2017 with our comprehensive show guide and exhibitor info.

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Industry Data

An exclusive report for HW subscribers revealing the key development trends, clients and locations for 2017.

Products & Kit Resources

BALI National Landscape Awards 2016

Read all about the winning projects in the awards, run in association with Horticulture Week.

Noel Farrer

Founding partner of Farrer Huxley Associates Noel Farrer on landscape and green space

Read Noel Farrer