Southwark Council has successfully topped the league table for providing the best overall parks service in the annual Good Parks for London Report 2019.
The report, created by Parks for London, analyses how each borough’s green spaces compare through ten criteria, including how they improve the health and wellbeing of the city’s residents. Southwark Council outshined the rest of the city’s authorities by scoring highly in the areas of public satisfaction including provision of health, fitness and wellbeing facilities, and developing the skills of park staff by offering apprenticeships and training.
London boroughs were evaluated in an array of other areas including events, supporting nature, sustainability and public satisfaction. The report highlighted the range of free facilities available in Southwark’s green spaces, and praised the £11m investment at Burgess Park that now has children’s play areas, a water play feature, football pitches, outdoor gyms, tennis courts and a national standard BMX track.
The council was also praised for its community engagement to learn from residents what they want from the area’s parks, and how this “community-based approach” has helped create more than 50 friends and stakeholder groups.
Councillor Richard Livingstone, the council’s cabinet member for environment, transport and the climate emergency, said: “This is a really fantastic result for Southwark and a great achievement for all of our staff and volunteers who work so hard to make our parks the best they can be for our residents. Our parks are at the heart of our communities and play host to some fantastic events throughout the year.
“As a central London borough where most people do not have their own garden it is particularly important for our residents to have access to excellent open spaces. Our borough is home to 30 Green Flag parks with each of them offering a range of high-quality free facilities available for our residents to get active and enjoy the outdoors. I am incredibly proud that the quality and investment in our parks has been recognised and celebrated.”
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