Freedom of information response

Parks engagement officers

Publication date: 
Monday 21 October 2019
Request: 

1. I would like to know the source of the financing for the new in post Parks engagement officers and confirmation as to whether section 106 agreement funds is being used for this purpose.

2. I would also like to know the implied benefit and role to the community.

3. The length of contract and total cost.

4. If this was decided by the 106 panel and what date the decision was made.

5. I would like to know the origin of any 106 money involved.

Response: 

1. The Council’s Health Team produced a business case to use existing 106 funding, from the old tariff based system 106 contributions, toward improving obesity and general fitness.  The project of the Thurrock Strategic Park Co-ordinated works programme was included in the IR.  The project was considered by the Section 106 Panel (which is made up of representatives of all areas that receive 106 contributions) which was approved.

2. The development of project encompassing the whole borough. The project is developed around the physical infrastructure of the parks within each area that have little or inappropriate use of the facilities. The works includes increasing and developing the physical infrastructure, event planning and local surveillance of the facilities. The aim of the project is to increase physical activity, create areas of community pride and involvement, and discourage vandalism and inappropriate behaviour within the areas.

Health outcomes from this project are around increased physical activity, reduction in obesity levels and improved mental health through exercise and volunteering involvement. Additional outcomes will be through community cohesion and a reduction in isolation. The Park Engagement Officers have so far engaged over 1750 people to date with a target of 2,000 people directly engaged by March 2020.

3. £300k over a three year period.

4. March 2018 Panel.

5. This was comprised of 8 different contributions that were pooled together from across the borough.

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Request reference:
FOI 9432