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Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - OPINION -

WORK­ING in a part of Lon­don which is sur­rounded by Royal Parks I’m well aware of what a marvel­lous re­source these are for peo­ple of ev­ery age group. They are an out­door space in the cen­tre of the city.

There are about 27,000 pub­lic parks in this coun­try and an es­ti­mated 2.6 bil­lion vis­its are made to parks ev­ery year.

In the Bea­cons­field con­stituency there are pub­lic parks which are cher­ished by our com­mu­ni­ties, pro­vid­ing play spa­ces for chil­dren, places to walk the dog, feed the ducks or take part in sports.

We have a wide va­ri­ety of parks, from the for­mal to the larger coun­try parks. Green spa­ces are on our doorsteps.

Recog­nis­ing the con­tri­bu­tion which parks make to our ci­ties, towns, vil­lages and coun­try ar­eas, the Com­mu­ni­ties and Lo­cal Govern­ment se­lect com­mit­tee launched an in­quiry into how to sup­port and se­cure parks for the fu­ture.

We all know there is pres­sure on the pub­lic purse, which af­fects fund­ing for parks, as these can be non­statu­tory ser­vices. How­ever, parks pro­vide open air fa­cil­i­ties for play­ing sport which can con­trib­ute to peo­ple’s health and well-be­ing. There are dif­fer­ing models for manag­ing our parks. There is an on­line sur­vey which any­one can com­plete, to build up a pic­ture of what is good or bad about the lo­cal park. Chil­dren and young peo­ple will not be for­got­ten about. After all, over the sum­mer, parks are a place for young peo­ple of all ages to visit, re­lax and play. Schools will also be in­volved through the 75 Teacher Am­bas­sadors from schools across the coun­try, who are work­ing with the House of Com­mons Ed­u­ca­tion Ser­vice to re­port back their views.

The com­mit­tee is seek­ing com­ments by Septem­ber 30, so more in­for­ma­tion can be found at www. par­lia­­ness/com­mit­tees/com­mit­tees-a-z/com­mons-se­lect/com­mu­ni­ties-and-lo­cal­go­v­ern­ment-com­mit­tee/in­quiries/par­lia­ment-2015/pub­lic-parks- 16-17.

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