Parks and Green Spaces Minister Marcus Jones launched a national action group at the Green Patch in Kettering today (Tuesday).
Mr Jones, the MP for Nuneaton, visited the community allotment for the launch of the Parks Action Group to help England’s public parks and green spaces meet the needs of communities now and in the future.
The group will be tasked with bringing forward proposals to address some of the issues faced by public parks and other green spaces across England, supported by £500,000 of Government funding.
Mr Jones said: “The Green Patch in Kettering is a lesson in the importance of parks to their communities.
“It’s a great space providing somewhere for people to get out, learn and play.
“Parks and green spaces like this breathe air back into our towns and cities, and give people opportunities to improve their health and wellbeing.
“We need to do more to make sure that future generations continue to enjoy these benefits and that’s why Government is committed to working closely with the sector to find the right solutions.”
Helen Griffiths, chief executive Fields in Trust, said: “I welcome the Minister’s response to the CLG Parliamentary Committee and Fields in Trust’s appointment to the newly established Parks Action Group at this pivotal moment for the future of parks and green spaces.
“Our ongoing research recognises how these spaces help to address significant public policy issues including health and wellbeing and community integration.
“We are looking forward to furthering our work with colleagues across the sector to ensure that we value parks and green spaces and take account of the vital contribution they make to local communities.”
Graham Duxbury, chief executive of Groundwork, said: “Making sure that all communities and all sections of society are able to enjoy the benefits of good green spaces is vital.
“Joining a local group can help young people develop their skills and older people overcome loneliness.
“Well managed green spaces can also help whole neighbourhoods cope with the costly impacts of climate change.
“We look forward to helping the action group unlock more practical support so that local communities and local authorities can maximise these social and economic benefits.”
Matthew Bradbury, Parks Alliance’s chief executive, said: “Having been involved in lobbying for an inquiry, The Parks Alliance wholeheartedly welcomes the publication of the Minister’s response to the Local Government Select Committee Inquiry into the Future of Public Parks and particularly the creation of a cross governmental and sector supported, Parks Action Group.
“The Parks Alliance is very much looking forward to working with the Minister, Government and the wider sector to secure the future of public parks for the communities that they serve.”