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Question for Department for Communities and Local Government

UIN 228925, tabled on 24 March 2015

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what discussions he has had with the National Trust on the preservation of public parks.

Answered on

26 March 2015

Details of Ministers’ meetings with external organisations are published on-line as part of our transparency agenda. They are available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications?departments%5B%5D=department-for-communities-and-local-government&publication_type=transparency-data

Through the Community Right to Bid, introduced as part of the Localism Act 2011, communities and local groups can protect local assets, such as parks, playing fields and allotments, by nominating them to be listed by the local authority as an Asset of Community Value. If the listed asset comes up for sale, local community groups can ‘pause’ the sale for a period of time in order to raise the finance to make a bid to buy it.

In February, the Department held a green spaces seminar to explore barriers to pursuing innovative solutions to protecting green spaces and to consider what actions central government might usefully take to help remove some of these. The National Trust attended this seminar and presented the approach they are exploring in partnership with Sheffield City Council to create an endowment fund for the city’s parks. This work is being pursued as part of the £1 million Rethinking Parks project initiated by Nesta, Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery.