Barnet Council’s Parks and Open Spaces strategy discussed at last week’s environment committee (12 May) states that “parks have deteriorated since 2009” and goes on to say “Five parks were classified as excellent in 2009 but in 2015, only one park achieves this rating (Golders Hill Park)” - Golders Hill Park is of course run by the City of London and not Barnet. The number of parks rated as good has also fallen.
The strategy, which has been out to public consultation, has reviewed the quality of Barnet's parks and open spaces and looks at options for their future over the next ten years at a time when the population of Barnet is rapidly expanding. Labour councillors supported enhancing our current parks and open spaces and the development of new public parks. Labour councillors did not support moves to look at outsourcing parks (option 3, page 26 of the strategy), which 60% (47% strongly disagreed and 13% disagreed) of respondents to the consultation disagreed with (page 26 of the consultation appendix). We are also concerned about the plans to charge for some services as a potential new source of income (page 25 of the strategy).
When the consultation asked about priorities for investing in parks - providing better toilet facilities was the top priority, followed by protecting and enhancing plants and wildlife and better pay facilities (page 23 of the consultation appendix).
Labour’s Environment Spokesperson, Cllr Alan Schneiderman said: “This report admits that the Tories have allowed Barnet’s parks to deteriorate. Only one park in Barnet is now rated as excellent and that is run by the City Of London and not the Council. The Tories should focus less on looking at outsourcing yet another Council service and bring our parks and open spaces up to the standard that residents deserve".
1. See page 13 of the Parks and Open Spaces strategy: http://barnet.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s31739/Appendix%201%20Parks%20and%20Open%20Spaces%20Strategy%20and%20Action%20Plan.pdf for details of how Barnet’s parks have deteriorated since 2009.
2. The consultation responses are in a separate appendix: http://barnet.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s31740/Appendix%202%20%20Consultation%20Data.pdf
To contact the Barnet Labour Group: 020 8359 2568