HC Deb 02 February 1965 vol 705 cc866-7
4. Mr. Edward M. Taylor

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he will set up a committee to investigate the steps to be taken to encourage the use of public parks, particularly in cities, by a greater percentage of the population.

Mr. MacColl

No, Sir. My right hon. Friend does not think a committee would help. Local authorities know the local needs and are best able to judge how the public may most readily be encouraged to use these parks.

Mr. Taylor

Does not the Minister agree that the ever-increasing pressure on public land and other open spaces and the ever-increasing dangers on the roads make it more important than ever that more use should be made of public parks? Is he further aware that in some cities the lack of imagination of local authorities and the unnecessary restrictions enforced by them are limiting the use of public parks? Should not the Minister at least give some guidance to local authorities on this matter, if he is not prepared to set up a committee?

Mr. MacColl

A very good pamphlet on this subject has been produced by the London County Council, which has been outstandingly good in the use of its parks. A circular was issued jointly by my Ministry and the Department of Education under the previous Government. I agree that it is most desirable that full use should be made of the parks. It is a question of the initiative and enterprise of good local authorities.