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We are definitely seeing more local authorities look at different models for managing their parks and green spaces. This is partly because of cuts to local authority budgets in general – which won’t be news to anyone.
What might surprise people though is that parks are not a “statutory service” like social care, so LAs are more free to cut or change services. We know from the recent “State of UK Parks” report that 86% of parks managers had seen budget cuts, and almost half of councils are looking at either selling or outsourcing the management of some of their parks.
So authorities are looking for new approaches – and often turning to the community or not-for-profit sector for solutions.