Newcastle City Council’s cabinet has approved a proposal for innovative plans to set up an independent charitable trust to run the city’s parks.
The proposal for a Charitable Parks Trust model was the result of a 91 per cent fall in the parks budget over the last seven years.
The pioneering approach, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the National Trust, to parks sees Newcastle become the first major metropolitan authority in the UK to establish such a trust, allocating £9.5 million revenue contribution to the Charitable Parks Trust over the first 10 years of its operation.
This means that parks will remain free for residents and visitors to use with the changes not affecting how people enjoy the city’s parks or allotments.
Kim McGuinness, cabinet member for Culture and Communities, said: “This is the first time that a charitable trust has been set up to manage parks and allotments on such a large scale, and I am delighted. Government cuts of more than 90 per cent to our parks budgets left us with no option but to look at alternative ways of running our open spaces – spaces that are vital to keeping this city a safe, clean and green environment where people can relax and enjoy their leisure time.
“We have worked for many months with the National Trust, Social Finance and Heritage Lottery Fund to bring this plan to life and we are proud of what we have achieved so far. Let me assure people that all money raised in the parks will be spent in the parks and their future remains in public ownership for everyone to enjoy. This new and innovative approach will open up our parks and bring back the days when parks were venues for social and community events. Now we must get on and lay the foundations for a 10-year plan that will nurture and develop the Charitable Trust that will guide our parks and allotments for future generations.”
Accessibility is the name of this game. Web designers are getting better at addressing the issues, but general awareness of accessibility requirements is still low. This is worrying – websites that are not currently accessible are potentially breaching the Equality Act of 2010. One of the first places to look for help should be the Government Digital Service (GDS), which provides help, advice and guidance on legislation regarding accessibility.
It is surprisingly easy to start meeting the government’s accessibility requirements.
The Emergency Services Show is the UK’s leading annual showcase of the blue light sector, featuring over 450 exhibitors, live demonstrations, unique learning opportunities and unrivalled networking.