CALLS FOR LONG TERM ACTION - THE CHARTER FOR PARKS
Around 20 national organisations and very many other groups have now signed up to back the new Charter for Parks calling for proper recognition, funding and protection for all the UK's public green spaces.
Please add your group and publicise widely to other organisations! Full information/sign-up form can be found here and you can watch a great piece about the Charter shown on Countryfile BBC1 in August by clicking here.
It is also worth noting that this piece was followed up by another excellent BBC1 Countryfile feature focusing on the NFPGS Chair's local park Lordship Recreation Ground in London and his calls for proper investment in all UK parks, click here to view.
PRESSURE ON GOVERNMENT
We have arranged a delegation to meet up with the Chair of the Communities and Local Government Parliamentary Committee in Westminster. 2 years ago this Committee held a Future of UK Parks public inquiry, and made a range of important recommendations to the Government. We want to ensure this is going to be properly followed up as the situation on the ground is continuing to deteriorate and requires immediate and effective Government action.
The National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces, as the voice of the movement of over 6,000 local Friends Groups, continues to be a key participant and influence in the Greenspace Sector / Government liaison body - the Parks Action Group - discussing and debating what must be done to rescue the situation.
The PAG involves 9 national greenspace organisations and 9 Government departments. There are 6 working groups (funding, access, standards, vision, skills and community empowerment). We ourselves are coordinating the 'Empowering Communities' workstream, and have proposed a series of regional conferences for Friends Groups and Council parks service reps to strengthen networking, good practice and partnership-working. If agreed, these could start to be rolled out this winter. We and others in the Parks Action Group are calling for the Government to commit substantial resources to parks to reverse the underfunding crisis and make a real difference on the ground.
The Government says it is committed to parks, but has so far refused to accept its responsibility for causing the crisis or for taking the necessary action to rescue the situation. The PAG 'Funding' working group is proposing a range of effective solutions. Around £1-2billion per year extra would help mitigate the years of cuts.
The next NFPGS General Meeting for Area Forum reps is on Saturday 13th October from 12noon to 4pm. The meeting will be held at The Priory Rooms, Quaker Meeting House, 40 Bull St, Birmingham B4 6AF. The theme of the meeting will be: 'Safeguarding and enhancing the UK's public green spaces - strengthening our voices, networking and campaigning'. If you are part of a Forum or network of Friends Groups please see if your Forum has received the invitation and might be able to send a rep to this important meeting - lunch provided and fares for a Forum rep can be re-imbursed. If you are not yet linked up with other friends and community groups in your town/area/region and you want to get such coordination going, please contact us for advice and encouragement.
STRENGTHENING OUR MOVEMENT
Best wishes to all!
Dave, Sarah, Michelle, Nigel and Roland
- for the NFPGS