Immediate opportunities to focus on parks and green spaces

Fields in Trust has issued a warm welcome to all the MPs elected last week – in particular the 335 new MPs – as they find their way around and settle into their new offices at Westminster ready for Parliamentary business to start.

During the campaign, Fields in Trust set out three policy asks centred on protecting, expanding, and improving the future of parks and green spaces.

Revaluing the role that parks play in our communities and seeing them as vehicles to help improve health inequalities and the environment needs a shift in mindset, policy and leadership.

The much-anticipated update to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) has been announced with a public consultation due by the end of the month.

“We’ll be focussed on ensuring this is an opportunity strengthen access to quality parks and green space, so that they are revalued and put on a surer footing,” said a spokesperson. “Its paramount that ‘golden rule number 5: Improve genuine green spaces’ sets out firm plans to improve existing parks and green spaces and creates new ones that are accessible to local people so the inequality of access gets addressed. This rule has to go hand in hand with other proposed changes to green belt and housebuilding targets.

“Eight cabinet members have previously worked within the charity sector which is a real shift from previous cabinets. We hope that this depth of understanding of the challenges faced and new expertise around the decision-making table will help to ensure the charity sector and Government work effectively together to make a difference.

“Access to parks is a cross-party issue – not a divisive one. It needs collective action across government departments alongside local leaders, industry players and charities, like us, who champion for better access for everyone. So, we’ll also be looking to the current cohort of 411 Labour MPs, 121 Conservatives, 72 Liberal democrat MPs and 4 Green Party MPs in particular to hold the government to account about their ambitions and push for better.

“There is a real buzz of opportunity for change in the air and we’ll continue to work hard to influence the new government to be ambitious and innovative about the role parks can play in delivering wider policy goals.

“Over the coming weeks, we will be getting in touch with all newly elected MPs to ask them to sign our Park Protector Pledge. Stay tuned for details in the coming weeks about how to ask your MP to take action.”

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