We believe that high quality parks and greenspaces are important for people’s health and wellbeing, for the strength of the local economy including in terms of visitors and where people want to live or locate a business, and for the environment. We recognise the work that is done by communities who work with us to maintain and develop these spaces, understanding the extreme pressures on council budgets, and we will encourage more communities to join in with these efforts.
We will utilise our parks and greenspaces to deliver our wildflower and grasslands strategy. This seeks to educate residents about the bio-diversity emergency facing our planet whilst delivering projects that support pollinator insects. These are essential for the pollination of many types of crops and for the sustainability of our eco-system.
We will protect and enhance parks in our Borough by signing them up to Fields in Trust and ensuring that they will always be there for generations to come.
We will deliver the next phase of our Play Strategy, with a renewed focus on increasing the number of accessible play areas and support the campaign to Make Space for Girls. The strategy will continue to promote outdoor play for improving the health and wellbeing of children and young people, through the promotion of active and healthy lifestyles. Aligned with our Youth Strategy, we will use these facilities to offer stimulating and rewarding alternatives to anti-social behaviour. Children, young people, their families and the wider community will be able to get involved in the planning of play spaces through co-production rather than just consultation.
We will review local planning policies to ensure we can maximise investment in play areas and green spaces through new developments, and we will put new conditions in place to ensure any new play parks and equipment meet the council’s minimum standards.