Public spaces and funding
George Monbiot hits the nail on the head (Spend more money on the public space - for all our sakes) by demonstrating that our essential and much loved public spaces are unnecessarily suffering cuts and neglect despite the abundance of wealth in our society.
Earlier this month it was revealed that the wealth of the UK's richest 1,000 people rose 14% last year to a staggering £658 billion. And yet, as the DCLG Select Committee of MPs recognised in their 'Public Parks' report in February, the UK's 27,000 public parks are being plunged into crisis due to chronic underfunding and are incredibly facing even further cuts.
Those MPs called for immediate action at all levels, and noted that many, including the Friends of Parks Groups movement who we represent and 322,000 petitioners to the Committee, are demanding the management of parks become a properly funded statutory service. In our submission to the Committee we estimated this would cost a mere £2-3 billion annually, a tiny fraction of the ever-increasing wealth of the super-rich which could be easily collected and redirected for the public benefit via traditional taxation. We urge all reps of political parties to publicly back this call.
Chair, National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces