Building public support
The Building support section suggests factors to consider when engaging with the public and elected representatives about a Parks Trust.
Stakeholder engagement and consultation is an important element of testing public appetite for change and shaping your proposals as they develop.
Whilst there will be legal requirements to consult for certain elements of implementation, for example, asset transfer, it is good practice to build engagement and consultation into project planning from the start.
Using an innovative ethnographic methodology as well as focus groups, we researched how residents of one city feel about their parks at the moment. We explained the current challenges and sought their views on the best response.
Certain principles resonated strongly with residents, in particular that parks should be safe and accessible. Residents felt that parks and green spaces added value to their lives, to the environment, and to the city as a whole. One resident said: "Parks should be at the heart of the city. It means different things to different people, but it’s key to society."
The following video outlines the research findings.
This research is also summarised in the Public opinions research summary, below, which provides guidance on the key principles to consider when planning and holding a conversation with residents about establishing a Parks Trust. You may well wish to undertake similar work in your own city - this work will be of particular interest to Councillors and senior council officers.