Make businesses contribute to green space upkeep, users tell Ipsos MORI

More than three quarters of people want to see investment in parks maintained by their local authority, says leading pollster Ipsos MORI, while most people are in favour of businesses contributing to upkeep.

The poll was commissioned by environmental charity Groundwork to tie in with a major conference in Manchester last week to celebrate its 30th anniversary.

"People said parks, playgrounds and green spaces should have their funding protected over and above other public services including youth services, sports facilities, libraries, museums and art galleries," said Groundwork.

Green Space and Communities: A Life’s work, supported by Manchester City Council and M&S, drew 250 professionals to argue that failure to maintain spending on green space was a false economy that would push up costs to the public purse in future. 

Keynote speaker landscape designer and broadcaster Chris Beardshaw used the event to highlight recent research findings by Groundwork that showed the NHS had to save £20bn. Yet access to green space helped reduce obesity and could save up to £2bn. 

"Increasing a sense of community by just a small margin could be enough to save more than £350m in the cost of tackling crime and anti-social behaviour. That’s equivalent to saving more than 7,500 police jobs.

 "Greening our towns and cities will also help us cope with flooding – predicted to treble over the next 30 years and already costing us more than £2bn. But we can’t just rely on the public sector struggling with these cuts to do the job alone. 

"The Ipsos MORI research clearly shows the public is calling on Plcs to play their part too. We need a change of gear.  I want to see more retailers, utilities companies, insurance companies and banks dig in to support the cause.

"Around 150 years ago Manchester was at the forefront of the campaign to bring nature into the city, working with major industrialists. That spirit of collaboration and innovation is precisely what we need today."

For more on the conference click here

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