Home news Newcastle City Council gives go-ahead for charity-run parks

Newcastle City Council gives go-ahead for charity-run parks


Plans to hand over the running of a council’s parks and allotments to a charity have been approved.Newcastle City Council said the move could mean extra funding for its 33 parks, as a newly-set up charity would be eligible to apply for grants. Those against the plan fear the city’s parks will not be as well maintained with volunteers in charge. The authority said the move was “pioneering” and it would contribute £9.5m to the new trust over 10 years. David Faulkner, Liberal Democrat councillor for Fawdon, said he was worried the plan was too vague.’Swingeing cuts’He said: “Who’s accountable under the new arrangements? Who are the trustees going to be and what are their business plans?”We have no idea really, but some vague principles we’re told they’ll follow.”Under the proposals, the council said it would still own the land and parks would remain free to enter, but parking charges could increase. The Labour-run council needs to trim £70m off its budget over the next three years and plans to hand the running of the parks over by the end of 2018. Cabinet member for culture and communities Cllr Kim McGuinness said: “This is the first time in the country that a charitable trust has been set up to manage parks and allotments on such a large scale, and I am delighted.”Swingeing Government cuts of more than 90% to our parks budgets left us with no option but to look at alternative ways of running our open spaces – spaces that are vital to keeping this city a safe, clean and green environment where people can relax and enjoy their leisure time.”

Source: BBC Tyne and Wear