4. Bristol City Council debate 14 November 2017 - Protect our Parks

Bristol Parks Forum's petition "Protect our Parks" (the text of which is reproduced at the bottom of this page) gathered enough signatures to require a debate at the full Council meeting on Tuesday 14 November at City Hall.

The Council was proposing to make parks "cost neutral" from April 2019.

The day after the Council meeeting, Bristol Parks Forum said:

The petition was presented to the Full Council Meeting last night.

We asked Cllr Asher Craig to make a clear statement that the proposals to make parks ‘cost neutral’ would be dropped – and the good news is that we succeeded!

While there are still significant budget savings proposed for Bristol’s parks service, they are now £1.6m less than those proposed earlier this year. We are pleased that Cllr Craig listened to all of you who signed the petition and also to those 60+ people who submitted public statements to the meeting.

Savings in the Council’s budget can be made from increasing income or making cuts. This year the Council are making savings of nearly £1m pounds in the parks budget with just under 50% coming from increased income.

The Council has now launched a consultation on its proposals for savings over the next two years. The Council hopes to make most of these from increasing income, with things like more events and more commercial activities such as cafés, bouncy castles etc. There are also some proposed cuts.

Details of the proposals can be seen in the consultation documents at www.bristol.gov.uk/parksconsultation

Please take time to read and respond to the consultation giving your views. It is important having reminded Councillors how passionate people are about their parks that we keep up the pressure.

There are more details about the consultation and last night’s meeting on the Parks Forum website at www.bristolparksforum.org.uk

You can also sign up for our regular email updates about parks issues at http://eepurl.com/beZ44L

Please see the Bristol Parks Forum statement for further background.

The petition statement:

Protect our Parks

Bristol City Council’s published budget proposals show that they will stop funding our parks from April 2019, relying instead on revenue generated from parks events and other outside sources. Bristol Parks Forum believes this is impossible to achieve in such a short timescale. Many other big cities are exploring this option, some have already decided it simply won't work; this was also the conclusion of last year's Select Committee of the House of Commons.

We, the undersigned, call on Bristol City Council to withdraw this budget plan and work with the Parks Forum and others to develop a realistic alternative.