Conservative motion seeks more ‘pocket parks’ and ‘found’ green spaces

The CYC Conservative Group’s motion for this Thursday’s Full Council asks officers to identify and support small areas of open space and informal green areas both within the city centre and in surrounding villages to create or to help foster amenity areas for local communities.

Cllr. Keith Myers, Acomb Ward, who is proposing the motion said “There are many areas throughout the city which, with a little TLC, could become pleasant areas of rest and relaxation.  They exist in all wards, and many local neighbourhood groups and councillors of all parties have worked to support these little oases of green. An excellent example is what has been achieved under the Civic Trust’s Pocket Parks programme.    

“However, without proper acknowledgement and support by the council, a lot of these small bits and pieces fall victim to vandalism and neglect and no longer provide a pleasant place to sit or a destination to walk to.  Certainly within my own Acomb ward the sell-off of most council owned open space by the previous Labour administration, including allotments, has meant that there is an incredible lack of amenity land, and I’d like to look at all areas in wards like mine where pocket parks could not only be made a reality, but mentored and maintained so they remain an amenity and not just overgrown areas full of rubbish.

“As the lead group of the current administration we are well aware that money is very tight.  We also recognise that not all open land can be preserved: land which has been earmarked for older peoples’ accommodation or council houses regrettably cannot always be left vacant. But, for example, there are at least six areas next to the bar walls which, with the inclusion of a few benches and a litter bin, could become restful places to sit and I think sites like this can be replicated throughout the city.

“We are keen to help residents in all wards, outlying or in the city centre, to identify existing green areas, potential parks and areas which would benefit from a programme of tree planting  which, with residents’ approval and support, local community groups could have the potential to run themselves with council assistance.   

“I think that with effort and not too much expenditure this could be developed into a programme which could benefit all areas of York.”