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2017 Parks Budget notes – 7

Written on:December 29, 2016
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Two elements to focus on: impacts and partnerships/deals

Impacts
Direct impacts have been covered earlier.
Each of us can talk/write about the impact of a given cut.
At the least, we should ask councillors to explain how those impacts will be minimised.
For example, if there are no parkkeepers, who will empty litter bins; who will clear paths; who will monitor general conditions?
If Rangers are restricted to repair and risk assessments, who will lead conservation work; who will liaise with volunteer groups to manage activities generally; who will monitor wildlife and environmental conditions; who will do outreach activities with the less able, the hard-to-reach, young people, and people who behave inappropriately?

These direct impacts may have happened somewhere already, so we should be looking for data. It might come from other councils who’ve made cuts to parks services, or it might come from right here, in previous decades. That information should be to hand already – either within the council, or from campaigning organisations like BOSF.

Secondary impacts need a lot more work, but they are also much more significant.
Getting to the secondary impacts requires data, and data requires investigation.
We need to know who’s been doing any investigation, whether it’s local or in some other city.
I’m not sure which campaign groups would gather info. Could be Parks service itself, or Sports, or Public Health. Could be BOSF, Wildlife Trust, Forest Schools Birmingham, Growing Birmingham, POCZero, Spring to Life, BITA Pathways, Mind, CGL, and so on. It’s not clear that anyone is collecitng and organising data across a wide enough spectrum.  Nonetheless, we should be asking councillors and campaign groups for relevant data points.

Partnerships & Deals
Actual and potential partners can be categorised. We need some of each.

Actual partners include the Parks & Ranger services, community groups, councillors, police, charitable and health organisations, schools, local businesses, grant makers and so on.
We need to know what these groups are doing to support retention of the budget.
We also need to know what data they have access to, and what efforts they can make over and above existing activity.

Potential partners are those with similar aims, but different schemes, which we’d like them to link with ours.
We need to show those potential partners that we are already achieving some of their aims – and that we’d like their support in establishing those activities.

We should be asking potential partners about the kind of datas they track, and what we can each do to support each other.

We should also be asking our councillors to make deals.
We should ask them what kind of work we can do that would persuade them to vote against these particular cuts.
For example, if we each commit to helping someone else access the parks, particularly people from under-served, isolated, or vulnerable populations. Would your councillor commit to maintaining the Rangers budget if we each offered to take someone from a target group on a walk?

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