I have written about this elsewhere, although not actually in this blog: but I get fed-up and annoyed whenever I see the call for ‘Innovative thinking’ on how Public Parks and Open Space should be managed and how the cost of doing so is funded.
To me this so-called ‘Innovative’ thinking ends up chasing its own tail because ‘we’ are unwilling to accept the obvious fact that the easiest, and fairest, way of funding management and maintenance of parks and public open space is via taxation with the management done by Local Authorities.
I am not going to say anymore, other than quoting a few words which I have just read from Jonathan Lovie and David Lambert from The Gardens Trust in its Spring 2016 news letter (page 14):
“The so called austerity cuts are being seen across the country with many local authorities foreseeing an imminent end to their ability to fund non-statutory services such as parks. In a shocking reverse of the last twenty years’ progress, all authorities are looking at ways either to reduce costs or increase income, and to share or even transfer responsibility for management and maintenance. The results of the pilot studies carried out for HLF and Nestas’s ‘Rethinking Parks’ project are expected shortly; they will examine a range of possible new forms of funding and management but history tells us that the reason parks are in local authority ownership in the first place is that for the vast majority there is no realistic alternative. We await the HLF’s second ‘State of the UK’s Parks’ report this summer with trepidation.”
I shall repeat the following section for the sake of clarity and for emphasis – “history tells us that the reason parks are in local authority ownership in the first place is that for the vast majority there is no realistic alternative”.
Quite – so let us face this up-front and stop this ‘innovate solutions’ guff.