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24 August 2016, 10:25
A lack of money is putting parks in Brighton and Hove at risk, according to the City Council.
The council says as its budgets decline, it has to make some big decisions about how the city's parks and open spaces will be protected and maintained into the future.
To help find out what local people want, the council is launching The Big Parks and Open Spaces Conversation. - a consultation which invites residents, visitors and all park users to "have their say and consider how parks could evolve into the future".
Brighton and Hove has 147 parks and open spaces, including heritage parks, playing fields, green verges and a section of the South Downs National Park.
Most of the city's green public spaces are currently managed and maintained by the council's Cityparks staff, supported by volunteers and Friends Groups.
The council believes parks and open spaces improve the quality of life for residents in the city, and are used by schools, colleges, universities and community organisations.
A spokesman said: "They support the city's tourism and economy, provide spaces for local community events and large festivals such as Brighton Pride and the Brighton Fringe and are part of the wider Brighton & Lewes Downs Biosphere. But managing public services on reducing budgets is challenging. Money spent on parks and open spaces is one of the council's smallest budgets (approximately £14 per person a year.)"
Current budget restrictions mean the council is unable to provide the levels of funding currently needed to maintain its parks and open spaces.
Councillor Gill Mitchell, chair of the environment, transport and sustainability committee said: "We know that people really value their neighbourhood parks and recreation areas, and want to see them protected and preserved into the future.
"That's why we are encouraging everyone to get involved in the Big Conversation, share their priorities, opinions and ideas and make sure their voice is heard.
"This consultation is a way of involving everyone from the start in a really important discussion on how we create new models for the future management of our precious parks and open spaces."
To take part in the consultation visit the council's website: https://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/parks-consultation