Public parks, playing fields, open spaces and the individuals and organisations that rely on them, are a critical aspect of community cohesion, health and well-being. The importance of this has been further reinforced by the Covid-19 pandemic, where their vital contributions to local communities have come to the fore.
However, with ongoing and escalating pressures on public finances, the levels of council subsidy required to continue maintaining these important local amenities have become increasingly unsustainable. As well as this, the poor condition of many public pitches and pavilions is deteriorating due to diminishing maintenance regimes - the threat of closure is real.
Alternative community management models continue to be a useful option for smaller parks. However, standard community asset transfers are less feasible at larger sites, where the usage levels, numbers of groups involved and scale of investment and improvement needed seem to be prohibitive. As a result, Bridgend County Borough Council have contracted Just Solutions to identify potential alternative models for three locations:
Maesteg Welfare Park
Aberfields, including Waun Llwyd Playing Fields.
For each strategic park we aim to identify possible approaches that will:
Ensure that sporting and community activities are protected for future generations in a sustainable manner
Address cost issues while improving and maintaining the assets
Enable different collaborative models to operate assets under new fit for purpose governance arrangements.