I recently had the pleasure of visiting Mellor Green Park in Cheadle Hulme where I spoke with the volunteers from nearby Chads Theatre who were maintaining the park, and I got a chance to look around to see the great work they were doing for their community.
It is groups like these, which look after the more than thirty parks across Stockport, who are so vital in ensuring we have local green spaces that are available to all and easily accessible no matter where you live in the borough.
Love Parks Week, which took place last week and is organised by Keep Britain Tidy, is an annual campaign which looks to celebrate green spaces as well as the dedicated volunteers who look after them all year round.
I wish to join with them in celebrating our local spaces, such as Mellor Green Park, Gatley Memorial Park and Bramhall Park which are loved by so many people and recognise the hard work of volunteers who keep such spaces cherished and accessible places for all to enjoy.
Keep Britain Tidy are also campaigning to make sure parks and green spaces are safe for women and girls, with their research showing that 40% of younger women aged 25-34 being put off using parks over fears about safety. As they rightly say when parks are perceived as unsafe women and girls are less inclined to spend time in them which then restricts their access to the benefits provided by these wonderful spaces. I will ensure these points are raised with the Government and through my membership of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Select Committee which has conducted an enquiry into this.
I have also recently written to the Chief Executive of Stockport Council to express my concern about the condition of the pavements, roadside grids and drains across Cheadle and Stockport more widely. Many of my constituents have been in contact with me to complain about the prevalence of mares tail, curb side weeds and blocked grids which are not only unsightly but also constitute a potential flood risk in some areas.
I will continue to press Stockport Council to address these issues so that the streetscape of our area is presentable and does not detract from the great work of volunteers in keeping local spaces attractive and well maintained.
When we think about green spaces we often think about our precious greenbelt and how we can protect it from over development. However, it is not just the larger environment that is important but also our local environment and the local parks which mean so much to so many.