Public Parks: Funding - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:44 pm on 30 October 2017.

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Photo of Baroness Jones of Whitchurch Baroness Jones of Whitchurch Shadow Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 2:44, 30 October 2017

I thank the Minister for that reply. Going right back to the Victorians, it was recognised that public parks benefit our physical and mental health as well as the environment and biodiversity. Is the Minister therefore concerned by the deterioration of our parks? There have been reports of huge cuts to the maintenance budgets with the loss of trees, shrubs and flowers, which are often replaced with bare soil, and, along with that, increased graffiti and vandalism. Does he agree that the rise of privatised open space in our cities is not the answer to that? What we need is green open space available to everyone. Therefore, I urge the Government to take a lead on reinstating our parks as the national pride that they once were, rather than passing the problem down to local authorities and voluntary organisations, which are doing their bit but simply do not have the resources available to reverse that decline.