Sue Robb of 4Children talks to Julie Laughton and Alison Britton from the Department for Education about the role of childminders in delivering the 30 hours free entitlement.
Liverpool’s green spaces could be maintained and preserved by a Parks Trust in the future if new recommendations are pursued.
A report by the Strategic Green and Open Spaces Review Board, set up by Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, has suggested that such a move would ‘free the open spaces from financial constraints the city council faces’.
The report suggests that clusters, each containing a large park and other green spaces, could be established under a single Charitable Federal Parks Trust. Additionally, the board recommends that any funds generated by the parks should be ring-fenced for future maintenance.
Simon O’Brien, who chairs the board, said: “This unique, independent review will, I sincerely hope, help the city of Liverpool continue to maintain and enhance its incredible unbuilt environment.
“It has been drawn up with three questions constantly running through my mind. How do we look after our precious green spaces as central government ruthlessly slashes local council budgets? How do we better protect our public parks and wild areas? How do we better use these amazing places in the future?
“I hope the final report is not the end but the start of a journey which can answer these questions. This is not a local issue, this is a subject of national importance and Liverpool can, as it has so many times in the past, lead the way on into the 21st Century.”
Anderson added: “The review sets out a number of possibilities including exploring the Parks Trust model. It is a very interesting option to meet the challenge how our parks and green spaces can not only be maintained but improved and it is a proposal we will actively consider.
“The interim report contained many interesting ideas and we have already taken forward some of the proposals. For example, we are using £1m of funding from developers to invest in refurbishment and provision of play areas, we have launched a new Environmental Initiative Fund and identified a site for a new park in Kirkdale.
“Now we have this final report which is the first major report of my second term of office and we will look to see how the council can take its findings forward over the next four years.”