Did you know there are 500 Friends of Parks groups in London? The Friends of Lloyd Park meets these and other groups several times a year, at the London Friends of Greenspaces Network who are preparing for the coming local Elections on 3rd May. It was strongly felt that each Friends group needs to lobby its local candidates about local issues, and to keep the profile of parks high on the political agenda otherwise they could become neglected, with all the good works of the last few years left to unravel.
One of the key issues is to start campaigning to get funding for parks to be statutory. Currently, with budgets stretched, councils have to protect funding of statutory services and this means cut-backs for parks and open spaces is inevitable. In Waltham Forest, the Greenspace department was scrapped a couple of years ago and now there is no single person responsible for parks.
Some thought a good lobbying position was to lobby council candidates, in wards where there are parks, and ask them to safeguard their funding. It was also suggested the new Community Infrastructure Levy money should be used for parks in the areas that developments are taking place.
What’s your view? What would you like to see the Friends of Lloyd Park doing in this area?