Agenda item

Parks Update

Presentation by Ruth Bell, Head of Service for Parks and Countryside.



 Ruth Bell, Head of Service for Parks and Countryside was in attendance with her colleague Stuart Turner, Programme Manager and presented an update to the meeting of current and completed works undertaken by the Service and the consultation and collaborative works with the public and community groups. Comments and questions were invited from the public and the Members present. The presentation showed the range of facilities, parks and small spaces the Service maintained in the City and the budget they held to manage these spaces. The Head of Service informed the meeting that demand on the City’s parks, facilities and small spaces were higher than pre-COVID.



The Chair thanked Ruth Bell and Stuart Turner for the presentation and invited questions from those present.



Councillor Dunn raised that residents in her Ward wanted to set up a Friends of Wolf Road Park to look at improving accessibility for all and wanted to know how to initiate this.

Ruth Bell advised that this was great way of linking into the Service and that she would provide details on how to do this following the meeting.  Stuart Turner stated that as equipment was changed and replaced, accessibility friendly equipment would be installed as a matter of course as time goes on. 



Councillor Jones asked how bio-diversity was improved upon whilst maintaining safe and tidy environments in our green spaces for all to enjoy and stay safe. 

Ruth Bell invited groups and individuals to raise concerns with her and to discuss with the Service how a balance could be achieved and that bio-diversity does not come at the expense of safety. 

Stuart Turner raised that some designs needed consideration to be given to them to improve those elements.




Councillor Weatherall thanked local groups for their litter picking efforts and good feedback was received. He stated that the Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracey Brabin was involved with a leaflet and video personal safety campaign for young people and suggested that this video be put on the Council’s website.

Councillor Weatherall also raised how members of the public could get a diagnosis for suspected diseased trees, for example those trees with Ash Dieback.

Ruth Bell advised to contact her and the tree team would investigate the concern. 



Lyn Brandon - Friends of Abbeyfield Park wished to know how decisions were made on the prioritisation of areas to be improved.

Ruth Bell explained that improvements were made on critical need and that some funding the Service received was awarded to deal with specific problems and therefore must be spent on designated issues.  Ruth invited Lyn to contact their project officer to raise any concerns they had.



Margaret Whelan - Friends of Concorde Park raised that the recent consultation about the park was coming to an end and that she felt that the ‘Pump Track’ was being pushed onto the park, but this was not a priority of the Friends group, as a bike track was already in place and was underused.

Ruth Bell advised that she was aware of this and had liaised with Jo Pearce (Service Manager for Physical Activity, Health, Culture and Environment – Activity Sheffield).  The ‘Wheels Park’ will be further discussed with the community.