West Midlands Parks Forum
Who we are
The West Midlands Parks Forum was originally established in 1986 by the former West Midlands Chief Leisure Officers Association as a response to Compulsory Competitive Tendering.
We are a networking and advocacy body managed and led by our members from across the public, private and charitable sectors.
The Forum has a membership of around 40 local authorities & green space professionals within the region which is defined as Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, West Midlands, Warwickshire and Worcestershire. We also welcome participation from those outside of our region.
The group is run on a voluntary basis by the members and named officers, who are elected annually at our AGM. The executive also contract with individuals and consultancies to provide services for the forum as a whole including secretarial support, newsletter, web site, research and conference organisation.
The Forum seeks to exchange information between members on best practice within parks and green space management and maintenance and raise awareness about the contribution of parks and green space to quality of life.
The Forum meets bi-monthly at venues around the region and in addition holds an annual one-day seminar or conference. The Forum has a good reputation within the region and the profession. Meetings and seminars are well attended.
The Forum welcomes members who are involved with landscape design, parks maintenance, countryside services or parks development. Whilst the majority of members are from Local Authorities there are a growing number from private organisations.
The website consists of freely accessible information and guidance as well as a restricted section specifically for members of the forum.
- We have had our own web site for more than 10 years and we are also on Twitter @westmidsparks where we regularly post information;
- We are proud to be the highest responding region in the UK to the State of UK Parks – Parks Managers Survey in 2013 and 2016;
- We have kept our membership levels high despite local authority cuts and we are growing each year (from 20 in 2014 to 29 in 2016);
- We have 115 Green Flag Awards in the region;
- We have a constantly high attendance at our meetings, from an average of around 20 in 2015 we are now regularly averaging almost 30 people per meeting;
- Our 2015 conference attracted 85 delegates and was well received;
- Across the region our members have secured 18 HLF Parks grants totalling almost £50m investment, excluding London this is the second highest in the UK
Why join the Forum
Some of the benefits of membership of the forum are:
- Invitation to bi-monthly meetings;
- Access to online library of documents produced by member authorities;
- Access to online discussion;
- Sharing experience and promoting best practice;
- Providing an informal network for parks and green space professionals within the region;
- Influencing national policy.
The members area allows access to further information, downloads and content. Not a member? To join the forum please get in touch.
Our Key Aims
- Sharing experience and promoting best practice
- Providing an informal network for “parks” professionals within the region.
- Influencing national policy
- Raising the profile of parks management and development at both regional and national levels.
Previous meetings have covered a wide range of topics including Green Flag, Fields in Trust, Eco-towns, Section 106 / Community Infrastructure Levy to name but a few. Both members and guest speakers make presentations at meetings. The Forum also responds on behalf of its members to government consultations such as those about; the Urban Green Spaces Taskforce Interim report; the HSE’s Tree maintenance survey; the Audit Commission’s Local Performance Indicators; and other emerging policy issues.