Cardiff to reconsider funding of parks

Cardiff City Council’s cabinet is set to consider new ways of running parks in the city as the council faces £91 million savings over the next three years.

Following an in-depth scrutiny inquiry, a recent Cardiff Civic Society survey found that respondents rated parks as the most important element affecting their quality of life. The 2017 Ask Cardiff survey found that parks and open spaces in Cardiff scored the highest levels of satisfaction, although parks services have reduced costs by 24 per cent over the last four years and have increased income by 18.6 per cent.

Recommendations set out by the committee include no further cuts should be made to the park keeping budget as these services are vital to ensure parks are safe, secure, well managed and of a high quality.

Nigel Howells, chair of the Economy and Culture Scrutiny Committee, said: "We are very lucky in Cardiff to have so many beautiful parks and green spaces and I am sure we all fully appreciate the physical and health benefits they afford. But, with Cardiff Council facing savings of £91 million over the next three years the question of how we can continue to provide such excellent facilities without lowering standards needs to be addressed.

“My Committee Task Group has worked closely with Green Spaces Wales, Park Friends groups and wildlife organisations throughout this inquiry and we believe that our recommendations will improve the security of funding in the future.With the overall savings required of local authorities, it is clear that non-statutory services such as Parks have to work hard to find income sources and efficiency savings. Partnership working is integral in ensuring we can keep our first rate Parks and Green Spaces by generating income and reducing costs in ways that do not lower standards or adversely affect the experience of Park users."

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