Session 2002-03 11 December 2002



The ODPM Committee has decided to undertake an inquiry following the Government's publication of Living Places: Cleaner, Greener, Safer.  The Committee is seeking comments on the Government's proposals for  making cleaner, safer, greener public spaces, including:

• the vision the Government has set out for public spaces

• what the main reasons are for the poor state of public spaces: inadequate legislation and lack of co-ordination or the pressure of other priorities and lack of political will

• whether the proposals contained in the report will bring about sufficient improvement to realise the Government's vision; and, if not, what should be done

• specific proposals, including:

- the response to the Urban Green Spaces Taskforce and the establishment of a new unit     in CABE to champion urban parks and green spaces;

- rationalising legislation*;

- improving the quality of the environment in deprived areas; and

- better co-ordination between Government Departments

• whether the report gives adequate attention to all the relevant issues, and, in particular: what measures need to be taken in respect of

- transport, including speed limits, expenditure on improving public spaces in Local Transport Plans, and the removal of clutter;

- environmental crimes, vandalism and disorder;

- enhancing safety

• whether there will be sufficient involvement of the voluntary sector and Non-Departmental Public Bodies including the Regional Development Agencies

• whether there is a sufficiently clear timetable for implementation

• whether the funding proposals are adequate

• what measures should be introduced to ensure local authorities give a higher priority to improving public spaces

*The Committee will obtain responses to the consultation paper, Powers and responsibilities in public spaces and local environments

Witnesses are invited to submit memoranda to the Committee on the points below and other relevant topics by Friday 14 February.  It is unlikely that memoranda submitted after this date will be published. (Witnesses who wish their memoranda to be treated in confidence should contact the Committee Clerk in advance.)  Witnesses should also note that decisions about who to call for oral evidence are likely to be taken on the basis of the evidence received by this date.

Evidence should be sent to the Clerk, Committee Office, House of Commons, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA, in electronic version in MS Word or Rich Text format, either by e-mail to odpmcom@parliament.uk  or on a disk accompanying the hard copy; witnesses without access to a computer are respectfully requested to take particular care that submissions are legible.  Please note that memoranda should be limited in length to six A4 pages.  Memoranda submitted to the Committee should be kept confidential until published by the Committee.Guidance on the submission of evidence can be found at www.parliament.uk/selcom/witguide.htm

Contact: David Harrison, Clerk  020 7 219 3289.