PUBLIC parks are at “tipping point,” struggling under budget cuts of up to 97 per cent, MPs warned yesterday.
The squeeze — due to vicious central government funding cuts — could see parks return to the neglect of the 1980s and ’90s, the communities and local government select committee said.
Housing demand is also putting some parks at risk, with new homes “nibbling away” at green spaces, MPs’ report said.
They recommend that councils publish plans recognising parks’ wider value such as integrating communities and improving public health.
Committee chairman Clive Betts said that local authorities should recognise parks as being “more than just grass and tulips.
“Parks are treasured public assets, as the overwhelming response to our inquiry demonstrates, but they are at a tipping point and, if we are to prevent a period of decline with potentially severe consequences, then action must be taken.”
Newcastle City Council’s parks management budget was slashed by 97 per cent in five years, the report found.