Saturday, 10 December 2016

The Big Park Conversation results

Queen's Park
The council survey between August 23 and October 28 into the future of Brighton & Hove’s parks brought a record 3,500 responses  from residents – and many generous offers of help.

Patcham Memorial Park
The survey set out to establish what residents’ spending priorities were for parks and open spaces in times of reduced funding. Between 2009 and 2020, the council’s parks service will be losing around one third of its money, down from £4.7m to just £3.4m.

Most popular suggestions were for the council to use more volunteers (403 mentions), create new revenue streams such as cafés, sponsors, events and charges (217 mentions) and to have more wildflower or overgrown areas (211 mentions).

About three quarters of respondents favoured replacing play area equipment with natural play features such as logs, which were cheaper to maintain.

87% of respondents tend to agree or strongly agree that residents should be allowed to cut grass verges using their own tools under certain circumstances.

Hove Park

56.4% of people were interested or fairly interested in volunteering to help maintain parks. Litter collection was the most likely thing people would offer to help with. Weeding or pruning were other possibilities. Over 1,000 people left email addresses because they might be interested in volunteering.

Business sponsorship or advertising in parks should be explored as a way of raising funds, according to 54% of respondents. 67% said options should be explored for getting not-for-profit organisations to maintain parks or raise funds for them.

Horsdean Park
Surrenden park
Preston Park
Results will help inform an open spaces strategy report going to the environment committee on January 17.

The survey was publicised via news outlets, the council website and social media, 10,000 flyers distributed in various ways, 3,000 postcards to random addresses and adverts in community magazines. 36% of people heard of the survey through social media.

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