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Lambeth set to approve plan for UK’s first cooperative parks

Lambeth council is set to become the first council in the country to offer its residents greater involvement in decisions over their local parks.

On Monday, December 9 Lambeth council’s cabinet will discuss a report which recommends giving more power to communities and parks groups as part of Lambeth’s ‘Cooperative Parks Programme’.
The Cooperative Parks Programme cabinet report confirms:

• Lambeth will be entering into partnerships to give more power and control to local groups to manage their local parks including; Streatham Common, Larkhall Park, Myatts Field Park, Stockport Playing Fields, Ruskin Park, Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, Brockwell Park, Hatfields Green

• Discussions will be entered into with staff from Lambeth council’s Parks Team and Veolia to explore their proposal to set up a staff cooperative.

The Cooperative Parks Programme will enable communities and parks groups to work alongside the council to improve local parks, take decisions about where money is spent and influence how parks and open spaces in Lambeth are designed.

Lambeth council launched a public consultation in July 2013 on the Cooperative Parks Programme. The consultation found 89% of residents support greater involvement from communities and friends groups in decision-making about parks and open spaces in Lambeth.

Lambeth’s cabinet member for Culture and Leisure, Cllr Sally Prentice said:  “Lambeth’s cooperative parks programme is the first of its kind in the country, giving residents the chance to have their say and greater involvement in decisions about their local parks and open spaces.

“It is clear from our public consultation that residents, communities and parks groups overwhelmingly want more say over their local parks. We have listened and we are acting to give our residents the chance to become more involved.

“Our cooperative parks programme shows how public services can be delivered in new ways and is a great example of what Lambeth’s cooperative council is all about. It is also an important part of our work to make Lambeth a safer, cleaner and greener place to live.”

Chair of the friends of Streatham Common, Richard Payne said: “Streatham Common is a huge asset to our local community and we’re delighted that Lambeth council is giving us more opportunities to get involved in the management of the common.

“I believe Lambeth’s cooperative parks programme and the establishment of a local co-operative for Streatham Common (SCCoop) will encourage ambition and innovation and get more local people involved in making our parks even better.

“In a time of tight public finances we’re lucky that we have a council that isn’t afraid to think outside the box and look beyond the traditional ways of delivering public services. Lambeth’s cooperative parks programme recognises the ambition and potential within the local community to help shape the services we receive.”

To read the cabinet visit: http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/moderngov/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=225&MId=8639

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