Public parks - Levelling Up Committee publishes Government response
22 March 2023
The Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (LUHC) Committee has today published correspondence from the Government responding to a series of questions raised by the Committee on public parks, inequality of access to green space, and the funding of public parks and green spaces.
The letter from Dehenna Davison MP, Minister for Levelling-Up, Department for Levelling-Up, Housing and Communities, includes information relating to spending on parks, monitoring access to green spaces, and the long-term funding for parks.
Clive Betts, Chair of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (LUHC) Committee said: “Parks should be a resource for all, making a vital contribution to our physical and mental health and serving a range of significant community benefits. The primary responsibility for maintaining our public parks lies with local councils, often supported by fantastic volunteer and civil society groups. The Government also has an important leadership and coordination role to play.
“I’m sure those citizens and community groups who do such positive work for our parks and green spaces will have an interest in this Ministerial correspondence and the Government’s assessment of their own efforts in supporting the sector”.
The Ministerial correspondence follows earlier letters from Clive Betts, LUHC Committee Chair, on 18th October and 13th June 2022, asking for an update from the Government on the key developments in implementing the recommendations in its predecessor Committee’s report (published in February 2017).
The 2017 Communities and Local Government Committee’s public parks report recognised the vital contribution of parks and green spaces to areas such as public health, community integration and climate change and flood mitigation.
On Wednesday 20 July 2022, the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (LUHC) Committee held an evidence session to follow up on the report, examining a range of issues relating to public parks, including park usage and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on parks.
At the evidence session, the Committee heard from a range of groups, including the Local Government Association, the National Trust, National Lottery Heritage Fund, and Natural England, the government's adviser for the natural environment in England, and also charities and champions of friends’ groups.
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