Knowsley’s Parks & Green Spaces under Threat

By on Thursday, September 21, 2017

Knowsley Council are asking the public for their thoughts on proposals for the future of the borough’s parks and green spaces.

Earlier this year the council set up a review board charged with finding a way to manage the parks under dwindling budgets, saying they can no longer afford the £1.3 million annual costs of maintaining them.

The independent board has made two proposals.

Option 1 is to leave the parks in the complete control of the council, generating income through events and activities. The board predicts this will lead to a financial shortfall, resulting in the deterioration and closure of parks.

Option 2 is to set up a charitable trust, funded by an endowment raised from the sale of 10 percent of Knowsley’s parks. The £40 million pot would then be invested to generate the £1.3 million annual running costs, to be supplemented by fundraising events and activities.

Management of parks by volunteers has been ruled out on the grounds that they lack the necessary maintenance skills and that there is a “danger that volunteer groups would ‘cherry pick’ certain parks to the detriment of the majority.”

The consultation remains open throughout September, when the final recommendations will be presented to the council for approval.

The Liberal Democrats have already voiced their oppositions to the proposals, with Lib Dem leader Cllr Carl Cashman telling Prescot Online that “the people of Prescot have made it clear that we don’t want to see our green spaces sold off or developed. Labour have already let down residents over the Greenbelt, and it looks as if they are about to do the same over parks.”

Take part in a survey

You can give your opinion on the Knowsley parks and green spaces proposals by filling in an online survey here. Alternatively, take part by phone or on paper by calling 0151 443 2480.

For more information, visit knowsleyparksboard.co.uk.

Pictured: Wildflower meadow at Eaton Street Park, Prescot

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