Just [one] week left to ask your MP to back calls for an inquiry into the parks funding crisis!An appeal from Horticulture Week
With just [one week] to go to the end of the current parliamentary session, the Make Parks a Priority campaign is once again calling on parks professionals, friends, users and supporters alike, to urge their MPs to sign an early day motion tabled in the House of Commons which calls for an inquiry into the parks funding crisis.
Since the campaign’s final push to get more MPs signed up to Early Day Motion 219 started last week, already Graham Allen MP, for Nottingham North, has backed the call for an inquiry, bringing the total number of MPs who have signed the motion to 43.
EDM 219 highlights the damage disproportionate cuts to parks maintenance budgets are having on local authority-run green space, as well as the loss of horticultural skills.
Kate Lowe, editor of Horticulture Week which founded the campaign last year, said the recent collapse of the national parks charity GreenSpace thanks to the same funding pressures facing parks, made the need for a parliamentary inquiry all the more urgent.
"The loss of the last remaining dedicated body representing parks in England underlines just how grave the situation facing our public green spaces has become. We urge everyone who wants to prevent the decline of their treasured public parks to ask their MP today to sign EDM 219 calling for an inquiry into these issues."
- When contacting your MP you need to use the full name of the early day motion - EDM 219 Reduction in Funding for Urban Parks.
- For a template letter to lobby your MP, see below:
- See the full text of the EDM - see below.
- To find out how to contact your local MP, see findyourmp.parliament.uk.
EDM 219 Reduction in Funding for Urban Parks: “That this House is concerned about the damage being caused to Britain's urban parks and green spaces by disproportionate cuts to their maintenance in local government budget savings, the loss of skills in professional horticulture in the public sector through staff redundancies and the lack of investment in parks, negatively impacting on health, social well-being and community cohesion; notes that, for example, London parks budgets have fallen by 44 per cent in the past four years while Liverpool has lost a third of its parks budget in the last two years along with 65 parks staff; recognises the challenge for green space professionals with the absence of a national level department, body or function with a watching brief for the UK's urban parks; and calls on the Government to address these concerns in a new inquiry into urban parks.”
The 43 MPs who have backed our call for a parliamentary inquiry are:Heidi Alexander (Lewisham East)
Graham Allen (Nottingham North)
David Anderson (Blaydon)
Hugh Bayley (York Central)
Graham Brady (Altrincham and Sale West)
Nicholas Brown (Newcastle upon Tyne East)
Richard Burden (Birmingham Northfield)
Ronnie Campbell (Blyth Valley)
Martin Caton (Gower)
Ann Coffey (Stockport)
Rosie Cooper (West Lancashire)
David Crausby (Bolton North East)
Mike Crockart (Edinburgh West)
Tony Cunningham (Workington)
Frank Dobson (Holborn and St Pancras)
Jim Dowd (Lewisham West and Penge)
Louise Ellman (Liverpool Riverside)
Bill Esterson (Sefton Central)
Tim Farron (Westmorland and Lonsdale)
Georg Galloway (Bradford West)
Mike Gapes (Ilford South)
Fabian Hamilton (Leeds North East)
Mike Hancock (Portsmouth South)
Gerald Kaufman (Manchester Gorton)
David Lammy (Tottenham)
John Leech (Manchester Withington)
Caroline Lucas (Brighton Pavilion)
Steve McCabe (Birmingham Selly Oak)
Dr William McCrea (South Antrim)
John McDonnell (Hayes and Harlington)
Alan Meale (Mansfield)
Fiona O’Donnell (East Lothian)
Sandra Osborne (Ayr Carrick and Cumnock)
Albert Owen (Ynys Mon)
Steve Rotheram (Liverpool Walton)
Joan Ruddock (Lewisham Deptford)
Bob Russell (Colchester)
Andy Sawford (Corby)
Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield)
David Simpson (Upper Bann)
Mark Williams (Ceredigion)
Roger Williams (Brecon and Radnorshire)
Stephen Williams (Bristol West)
Draft letter for sending
To: xxx MP
House of Commons
Dear xxx MP
RE: Early Day Motion 219 – Reduction in Funding for Urban Parks
As your constituent, I am writing to share my concerns that disproportionate cuts to local authority parks maintenance budgets are, once again, threatening to tip Britain’s urban parks into a spiral of decline, and to urge you to sign EDM 219 – Reduction in Funding for Urban Parks.
EDM 219 calls for an inquiry to examine the issues behind the crisis facing urban parks, as well as address concerns over the absence at national level of any department, body or function with a watching brief for the UK's urban parks which is exacerbating the crisis.
In London, parks budgets have fallen by 44 per cent in the past four years, the London Parks & Green Spaces Forum reported this month. In Liverpool, which has lost a third of its green space budget in two years along with 65 parks staff, officials came perilously close last year to withdrawing maintenance completely from all community parks. Meanwhile 96 per cent of green space managers from councils across the UK have told APSE that lack of investment in parks will impact negatively on health and social wellbeing.
Eighty per cent of parks managers are predicting quality standards to fall as they become unable to deal with vandalism and ongoing maintenance, and 50 per cent are expecting a drop in public perceptions of safety. There is a slide back towards there being no-go areas for children, families and old people.
A copy of EDM 219 is enclosed. I would be grateful if you would show your support for the call for an inquiry into the parks crisis by signing the EDM.