Swale Borough Council’s cabinet approved plans to consult on a new Open Spaces and Play Strategy for the borough. Local people will get to have their say on plans for how parks and open spaces are managed.
The draft strategy sets out how the council, working with residents and partners, will protect, maintain and enhance the open spaces it runs over the next five years.
It has been put together following a range of assessments and inspections of parks and open spaces, and sets out how decisions about them will be made.
Cllr David Simmons, cabinet member for environment and rural affairs at the council, said:
“Our stunning and distinctive environment is one of our greatest assets, and included an outstanding range of internationally and nationally important landscapes.
“They provide opportunities for formal sport, play or simply a place to meet with friends and neighbours.
“This strategy has been developed to help us focus on what is important over the next five years. We want to make sure we have the right number of open spaces, and that the quality is maintained and important sites are prioritised for future enhancement.”
Open spaces include parks and gardens, natural/semi-natural greenspace, green corridors, outdoor sports and playing pitches, general amenity space and play areas.
The draft strategy confirms there is a sufficient amount of council-owned and managed open spaces for the current population, with the exception of cemetery capacity. It says the focus of the next five years should be on improving the quality of existing open spaces that have been assessed as of low quality, with particular attention being paid to play areas.
It proposes investing at least £500,000 on existing open spaces over the next five years, and developing a rolling programme of refurbishments for a number of play areas during the life of the strategy.
The strategy was discussed at cabinet on Wednesday, 4 October, and a consultation on the final version will begin in few weeks.
The report on the strategy, including a link to the draft version, is available here.