VIEW FROM THE HOUSE
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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. parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/communities-and-localgovernment-committee/inquiries/parliament-2015/public-parks- 16-17.