Parks Budgets Recovery?

The management and maintenance of public parks and greenspace is a non-statutory service, meaning that the amount spent on these community resources is at the discretion of the local authority. The infographic shows that over the decade spanning 2010-2020, council funding for parks fell by 38% in Scotland. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the value of local greenspaces as key resources in contributing to the health and wellbeing of communities was high on the agenda. This may be reflected in a small increase of 12% in funding since 2020. However, it is questionable whether this represents a recovery in parks budgets as the current economic situation that councils are operating in means that further cuts across all service areas are expected in the future.

Click on the infographic to enlarge it.

parks budgets recovery infographic

Spending on parks


Across the 32 Scottish local authorities, spending on parks fell by 38% in the 10 years between 2010 and 2020. Since 2020, in the post-pandemic period, there has been a slight upturn in spending, with an increase of 12% between 2020 and 2022. This small rise brings spending back to the level it was at in 2018.


However, the current economic climate means that council budgets are being cut back, with all service areas likely to be affected. So, despite more awareness of the value of greenspaces, and the recent upturn in spending on parks, a big question mark hangs over whether this will be sustained in the longer term. Organisations such as greenspace scotland and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) consider that the funding of urban greenspaces will continue to be put under pressure or be cut.


This casts doubt on whether the potential benefits for communities, in terms of access to good quality greenspace, will be realised, as well as on the delivery of other agendas, such as the mitigation and adaptation of urban areas to climate change.



Infographic design


The design of the infographic uses colour, typography and a line graph to convey the amount of spending on parks between 2010/11 and 2022/23 in Scotland in a simple but impactful way. The orange and green colours dissect the background to emphasise the decline and recent increase in funding. In addition, black and white text reinforces the change in direction.



Sources


www.cosla.gov.uk


www.greenspacescotland.org.uk


www.improvementservice.org.uk/benchmarking


This infographic appeared in JONO Design e-news. The e-news is published once every couple of months and each issue contains a specially designed infographic.


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