Barnet Council’s Environment Committee is set to discuss how it can make the most of its parks and open spaces for residents to enjoy, when it meets on Monday 11 January.
The Draft Parks and Open Spaces Strategy was commissioned to give the council a comprehensive review of the quality of Barnet’s parks and suggests a range of opportunities available where green spaces can improve the quality of life of its residents as well as provide valuable assets that support the economic success of the borough.
Barnet has a collection of over 200 green spaces which are widely loved by residents*. However, the council faces the dual challenges of a growing population and reduced central government funding. These challenges mean that, without a rethink of how the council develops its parks and open spaces, there will be less opportunity to invest in green spaces in future and it may become difficult to maintain parks to current high standards.
The draft strategy looks at how the council, along with residents and volunteers, can put new structures in place for managing and developing its parks and how it can find alternative funding streams for maintaining them in the future.
At the heart of the strategy is a vision that the borough’s parks and open spaces will continue to make Barnet a desirable place to live and do business, that parks improve the health of residents and that they help reduce pollution in the borough.
If approved, the draft strategy will go out to wider public consultation on Monday 18 January and close on Sunday 13 March.
Chairman of Barnet Council’s Environment Committee, Councillor Dean Cohen, said: “Our green spaces are highly valued by our residents, and rightly so. This draft strategy not only sets out the challenges that we face to make sure that our parks are among the best in London and continue to be loved by our residents, but it also makes it clear that our green spaces should play a key role in improving the economic, social and environmental prosperity of Barnet.
“I look forward to discussing the strategy with my colleagues at committee.”
The Draft Parks and Open Spaces Strategy can be found here.
*70% satisfaction rating for parks and open spaces (Spring 2015 Barnet Residents Satisfaction Rating)