Parks and countryside review
The purpose of this review is to ensure we’re getting the best from the borough’s natural environment, specifically the management of land and trees currently within the council’s parks and countryside remit, while ensuring savings are made.
It means understanding and defining the role of the council in maximising the benefits of the natural environment for all – such as the health benefits, benefits to wildlife and biodiversity – and being clear on the responsibilities and obligations the council has in this area.
It includes reviewing:
- the current role of stakeholders – such as volunteers, land owners and residents in the borough’s natural environment
- the current activities undertaken by the parks and countryside service
- internal processes and procedures
- opportunities available to maximise the social and community benefits of the borough’s parks and countryside
We have now completed the first ‘Analyse’ phase of this review and formulated a number of recommendations. A Gateway Review was held in September 2017 and borough councillors supported these recommendations be taken forward in the next phase of the review.
We have now moved into the ‘Plan Phase’ of our transformation cycle. During this phase the main focus will be one of enhancing and maintaining the service, whist seeking to maximize income and identify efficiencies.
As part of this we will:
- take a holistic approach to land management to identify efficiencies in processes
- develop options, proposed during the analyse phase, for land management arrangements and efficiencies that in the short term could create savings and in the longer term would enable other sourcing opportunities to be explored more fully
- explore ways in which our existing and future assets can be managed in a more commercial way, whilst providing additional benefits to local residents
- be proposing core strategic options and outcomes to be implemented during the next phase of the review process, ‘Do’
A further Gateway Review will be held in early 2018 where we will seek support from the borough councillors to fully implement proposals.