Camden seeks views on their green spaces
Camden Council is launching a public engagement survey to help inform how it will look after the borough’s parks and green spaces in the future. It starts on Thursday 17 September.
The authority currently tenders out the service – which maintains spaces ranging from the historic squares of Bloomsbury to neighbourhood parks – at a cost of £2.5 million.
This contract is due to come to an end in 2017, presenting a good opportunity to explore how Camden’s green spaces could be maintained differently, while achieving financial savings.
The Council manages 75 parks and gardens as well as more than 300 green spaces on Camden’s housing estates, and a total of 333 play areas including a large number of ball courts.
The grounds maintenance service provides the park attendants, gardeners and playground inspectors and carries out tasks such as grass cutting, leaf and litter collection, hedge cutting and repairs to play equipment.
Councillor Meric Apak, Cabinet Member for Sustainability and Environment, said:
“We know people are passionate about our borough’s green spaces, and nearly 40% of you have told us that you rank parks and open space as the most important thing in making Camden a good place to live.
“Although Government cuts and other social pressures mean we are having to make savings, we are committed to maintaining quality green spaces that meet the needs of everyone in the borough. We are encouraging as many people as possible to get involved in this engagement to help inform the future priorities of the service.”
The Council is exploring the possibility of making changes such as replacing high maintenance plants with lower maintenance ones that better support biodiversity, and increasing opportunities for community gardening and food growing.
Residents and visitors to the borough can get involved by completing the online survey at www.camden.gov.uk/greenspaces
The survey opens on Thursday 17 September and will close on 30 October 2015. Following the engagement, the feedback will be used to help design the new way of delivering the service which will be presented to the Council’s Cabinet early next year.
Notes to editors
1. Camden Council has saved £93 million since 2011, but additional cuts to government funding alongside other social pressures – such as increases to the cost of living – have resulted in further budget pressures. To address this, the authority has agreed savings of £75 million, to be delivered by 2018.
2. Although we are looking at how we provide tree maintenance services as part of this review, residents will not see any difference because the changes to the tree work specification relate to health and safety and the control of pest and diseases. The cycles of inspection and maintenance for council owned trees remain in place, along with the ongoing tree planting programme with a target of planting a minimum of 400 annually.