A template letter that can be used by readers to send to their MP is published below - or download the letter in Word format.
By the end of the last parliament, 43 MPs had signed and Early Day Motion (EDM 219 – Reduction in Funding for Urban Parks) which called for an inquiry to address concerns over disproportionate local authority cuts to parks maintenance budgets which are being exacerbated by the absence at national level of any department, body or function with a watching brief for Britain’s urban parks.
The campaign is prompted by the growing fears of professionals that the severity of the budget cuts are driving horticultural skills from the sector while threatening to usher in, once again, a spiral of decline in parks across the UK.
The campaign launch followed a reception in the House of Commons last year organised by HW and hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary Gardening & Horticulture Group, which saw parks professionals raise their concerns with parliamentarians.
For more information about the campaign, see www.HorticultureWeek.co.uk/makeparksapriority
House of Commons
RE: Reduction in Funding for Urban Parks
As your constituent, I am writing to share my concerns that disproportionate cuts to local authority parks maintenance budgets are, once again, threatening to tip Britain’s urban parks into a spiral of decline, and to urge you to back calls for a parliamentary inquiry into the urban parks funding crisis.
An inquiry is needed to examine the issues behind the crisis facing urban parks, as well as address concerns over the absence at national level of any department, body or function with a watching brief for the UK's urban parks which is exacerbating the crisis.
In London, parks budgets have fallen by 44 per cent in the past four years, the London Parks & Green Spaces Forum reported this month. In Liverpool, which has lost a third of its green space budget in two years along with 65 parks staff, officials came perilously close to withdrawing maintenance completely from all community parks. Meanwhile 96 per cent of green space managers from councils across the UK have told APSE that lack of investment in parks will impact negatively on health and social wellbeing.
Eighty per cent of parks managers are predicting quality standards to fall as they become unable to deal with vandalism and ongoing maintenance, and 50 per cent are expecting a drop in public perceptions of safety. There is a slide back towards there being no-go areas for children, families and old people.
I would be grateful if you would show your support for the call for an inquiry into the parks crisis.