Alliance Chief gives evidence as to the importance of our parks

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Emma Boggis responded to why the nation’s parks and green spaces are so important for the Alliance’s members at the Communities and Local Government Committee's evidence session on Tuesday for the inquiry into public parks.

Speaking at the session when asked why people feel so strongly about their parks, the Chief Executive of the Sport and Recreation Alliance said that local parks are "environments that are welcoming, easily accessible and easy to reach, a place to get active with friends and family on your doorstep, that enable people feel a part of their community."

The inquiry into the value of public parks, to which the Sport and Recreation Alliance has contributed a response, was created to examine the impact of reduced local authority budgets on open spaces and consider concerns that their existence is under threat.

The evidence sessions also asked questions about the effect budget cuts would have on local parks and communities, how to balance conflicting needs of park users, how funding models for parks might be created and the role voluntary groups play in maintaining parks and how to support them.

Other contributions at the session came from representatives of ukactive, The Parks Alliance, Heritage Lottery Fund and National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces.

While 2.6bn visits were made to Britain’s 27,000 public green spaces last year, council budget cuts have had an impact on their maintenance, with funding falling from £3.1m to £2.6m over the last two years.

The Committee received nearly 400 formal written evidence submissions and more than 13,000 surveys completed online or face to face in parks since launching its inquiry in July 2016.

You can watch the evidence session here.