Knowsley residents are being urged to get involved with creating a new future for Knowsley’s parks.
During September the Knowsley Parks and Green Spaces Review Board – the independent group charged with protecting the future of the borough’s parks – will be asking residents to give their views on recommendations for the future funding and management of the borough’s green spaces.
Knowsley Council has lost £86m in budget cuts since 2010 and, facing a further £14.8m of cuts up to 2020, can no longer afford the £1.3m per year it costs to maintain parks.
This has led to the creation of the independent Parks and Green Spaces Review Board – made up of representatives from Knowsley Council, Town and Parish Councils, local businesses, friends of parks groups and academics – who, in recent months, have undertaken an in-depth review of potential new funding and governance models.
They have developed a number of recommendations which are being outlined to residents during the consultation programme during September. The consultation will include a survey, market research, local forums and meetings.
Chair of the Knowsley Parks and Green Spaces Review Board, Gideon Ben Tovim – who also chairs Liverpool City Region’s Local Nature Partnership – said: “Budget cuts mean the council can’t maintain its current funding of parks and if we don’t explore alternatives the parks in Knowsley will fall into a decline or close.”
Vice Chair Paul Nolan, Director of The Mersey Forest Partnership, added: “Our aim is to identify a new delivery model for sustaining Knowsley’s public parks and green spaces and protect them for future generations. We need Knowsley residents to get involved and tell us their views as these will help us make our final recommendations to the council in November.”