100 signatures reached
To: Newcastle City Council
Save Newcastle's Parks
Newcastle City Council will lease all the city's parks and allotments to a newly created Parks Trust for 125 years. The trust's governance will have no direct accountability to the people, only to 'partner' organisations such as local universities or the National Trust. Immense commercial pressure will be placed on the trust to generate revenue from events, car parking, concessions and so on. A lack of a counterbalance, in terms of accountability to the people, will lay the ground for sweeping privatisation. Please sign this petition to give the Trust’s ‘Communities Group’ the power to veto signing off the annual accounts if there is a dispute between the people of the city and the trustees of the Parks Trust.
Why is this important?
The Parks Trust is an attempt to protect parks from severe local authority budget cuts and avoid responses taken elsewhere, some of which have gone as far as selling off parks for development. The new trust is being billed as a pioneering innovation with the potential to be rolled out to other local authorities in similarly dire financial situations. Without action, this model could pave the way for commercialisation of the nation's parks on a massive scale. Imagine billboards advertising chocolate bars and fizzy drinks, large areas carpeted over for car parking in areas which should be served by public transport, events held on so many days of the year that large areas are off limits to those without the means to pay. All these things are a very real possibility and they undermine the social benefits of parks that have been safeguarded for generations.