Institute of Leisure & Amenity Management (ILAM) president Nick Gibbs has hit out at comments made by parks charity GreenSpace last week, which implied parks could be a low priority for the new Institute of Sport, Parks & Leisure.
The institute is due to launch this summer after 18 months of merger discussions between ILAM, the National Association for Sports Development (NASD) and the Institute of Sport & Recreation Management (ISRM).
GreenSpace made the comments in a statement of intent sent to members, in which it announced it was to launch a rival institute, addressing skills issues.
Gibbs said: “GreenSpace has done some good work, but it has been scaremongering that the new professional body is not taking parks seriously. This is completely false. The new organisation will have a significant ability to deliver for parks professionals.”
GreenSpace communications manager Martin Duffy said: “ILAM can say what it sees fit.” He said the merger between ILAM, NASD and ISRM was in jeopardy because sports minister Richard Caborn would only deal with a body that included all three groups.
A recent extraordinary general meeting held by the ISRM threw its involvement with the new body into doubt, but senior members of the other organisations are confident that a new institute will come into existence on 1 July.
Continuing professional development, training, qualifications, the development of sector standards and influencing national policy have been identified as key areas.
ILAM said it had sought to ensure the interests of parks and open space managers would be represented in a genuinely cross-sectoral professional body. ILAM president Nick Gibbs said this had been achieved: “Parks and open spaces will be at the heart of the new organisation.”
Have you registered with us yet?
Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins
Sign up now