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Issue:- Saturday Night, 12 December 2015

Headlines and reports on this page = 4 news items.    Page - 2.

Green corridors for City proposed

A network of traffic free green corridors which would link open spaces and be funded by future developments in the City should be created in Liverpool, a new report recommends. An interim report by the Strategic Green and Open Space Review Board calls for:- "the identification and extension of a series of corridors for walking, cycling and the linking of wildlife areas."

It is 1 of 31 recommendations by the Board which was set up by the Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, to look at the future of the City's parks and green spaces. They also include urging the City to make a commitment to raise the quality of green spaces in the North of the City so they are comparable with the South.

The report also pledges to continue to investigate the financial restructuring of current services and provision and to establish ideas for reducing cost and increasing income.  The Board is chaired by actor, TV presenter and environmentalist Simon O'Brien, said:- "I consider this to be the most important piece of work I have ever undertaken. It continues to be a fascinating journey inspired by those people already engaged with our green and open spaces."

The interim report is based on data collected over the last nine months and takes account of feedback from 10 public meetings across the City and 3 workshops which were held across the City to examine the issues.

Among the recommendations are:-

All public parks and greenbelt sites should be removed from the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment "call for sites" list.

Create a Green and Open Spaces Ambassadors programme to provide active engagement at a community level.

Set up Parks Business Forums which includes all stakeholders of business located or established in parks.

To work with the Clinical Commissioning Group and public health partners to identify a location in a green space which can be used in a pilot health referral programme.

2 sites of 2 hectares each be identified, one in the north of the City and one in the eastern core to create new public woodlands

Mayor Anderson said:- "Liverpool has an abundance of superb parks and green spaces which are a huge asset to the City. However, we are faced with huge challenges about maintenance and investment in them with the huge cuts to our budget. We have to find new ways of doing things and that is why I set up the Green and Open Spaces review and asked Simon O'Brien to chair it. I welcome this interim report and acknowledge the enormous amount of work that has contributed to it and would like to thank Simon and the Board for their work to date. Their report is entirely independent of the Council. It recognises the financial difficulties that are facing us and comes up with many interesting and thought-provoking ideas for us to consider. However, the Board still has work to do and I understand that in their final report they will identify and prioritise the final recommendations and look at what we are able to deliver jointly with key stakeholders and partners which will have the greatest positive impact on our City's green and open spaces."

Following the publication of the interim report the Board will be hosting three public consultation events in the New Year when members of the public will be invited to provide feedback and comment on the recommendations. Alternatively views can be emailed.

The public meetings will be held at the following locations:-

Thursday, 14 January 2016, at the Croxteth Sports Centre, Altcross Road, L11 0BS, from 5 to 8pm.

Thursday, 21 January 2016, at the Southern Neighbourhood Centre, 1209, Upper Mann Street, L8 6TS, from 5 to 8pm.

Thursday, 28 January 2016, at the The Black E, 1 Great George Street, L1 5EN, from 5 to 8pm.

The interim report can be found online. Also the Board's final report is expected to be published in 2016.

Did you know?

There are 139 public parks, recreation grounds, cemeteries, crematorium gardens in Liverpool, totalling 444 hectares.

In 2015/16 the Council is spending almost £9 million on maintenance of green spaces.

2 parks have recently been created on disused sites - Bankfield Park in West Derby and Alt Meadows in Croxteth.

The Mayor committed over £1m to new skate parks at Everton Park, Newsham Park, Dingle Bank, Otterspool Park and Norris Green Park.

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