H&F Parks Commission terms of reference

Introduction

Hammersmith & Fulham is blessed with a patchwork of ornate parks, green and open spaces.

Starting at the ancient common land of Wormwood Scrubs in the north, one could meander south through pockets of life-affirming nature travelling through a stunning collection of over 40 borough parks, public gardens and green spaces, ending up on the riverfront with all its wildlife and colour.

Our open spaces offer our residents a chance to play, exercise and breath easier and provide opportunity for the borough to facilitate good physical and mental health, civic renewal and a strengthening of our community life.

The Independent Parks Commission will consider all of the above focusing on how our residents get the most from our open spaces, what we do to improve them, while protecting them and making them sustainable for future generations and for the enhanced biodiversity of the borough.

It will report its independent findings to the borough’s Community Safety and Environment Policy and Accountability Committee.

Review scope

What is the vision for our parks, green and open spaces?

How can they facilitate the achievement of the council’s stated public policy objectives of: improving physical and mental health, enhanced biodiversity, civic renewal and strengthening community life?

What is the best way to involve local people in the decisions made about our parks?

  • How do we ensure the council engages a full and wide diversity of people in the decisions we make about our parks?
  • How can we devolve powers to residents, so decisions are made expediently, with probity and in the interests of all the parks current and potential users?
  • How should the management of: sports bookings, parks buildings, and rental of public areas operate in a way that ensures good value to both the council and the users; probity, and affordability?

What currently works, what could be better, and what doesn’t work in the way our parks and open spaces are managed?

  • What’s the best way to manage our parks?
  • What’s the best way of ensuring our parks are financially sustainable and have the resources to deliver the improvements our residents want?
  • What’s the best way to ensure that residents feel safe in our parks?
  • What’s the best way of keeping our parks safe and open for use during the maximum number of hours?
  • How can increased use of technology be employed to encourage greater residents use of our parks?
  • How can we enhance the biodiversity and environmental sustainability of our parks?

Composition of the independent Parks Commission

The membership size and membership recruitment criteria of the independent Parks Commission will be agreed between the commission Chair, the executive of the council, and the chair of its Community Safety and Environment Policy and Accountability Committee.