September 20 2014 Latest news:
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Norwich’s historic parks will not be put up for sale, council bosses have pledged - despite a national report which revealed almost half of councils are considering such a move because of pressures on budgets.
Research by the National Lottery Fund revealed almost half of local authorities were considering selling parks and green spaces or transferring their management of them, as councils struggle to balance the books.
But officers at Norwich City Council, while acknowledging government cuts have piled on the pressure to keep up investment and maintenance in the city’s parks, say they have no plans to sell up.
A spokeswoman said: “Maintaining and improving our parks continues to be priority for us and with this, along with the invaluable support and work of local people, we have no reason to make compromises on standards or look at changes to ownership.
“The city has a wealth of fantastic parks and open spaces and time and time again, people tell us these are a very important part of Norwich life – providing free leisure opportunities.
“By doing things like negotiating new utility contracts and vehicle leases to make sure we continue to get the best value, we have managed to keep the amount of money we have to spend on maintaining our parks, playgrounds and open spaces pretty constant in the last few years. And we continue to receive steady sums to spend on improvements.”
Norwich City Council manages 23 parks, including historic Eaton Park, Waterloo Park and Wensum Park, plus 95 open spaces and 59 natural areas in Norwich.
Great Yarmouth Borough Council, West Norfolk Borough Council and Thetford Town Council said they had no plans to sell any of their parks, while North Norfolk District Council is transferring the clifftop North Lodge Park to Cromer Town Council.
• What do you think of the county’s parks? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.