In a Commons written statement culture minister John Penrose said the Greater London Authority (GLA) would have day-to-day responsibility for maintaining and managing the royal parks, including fulfilling statutory obligations.
He said: "The Government will need to legislate when the opportunity arises to give the GLA equivalent management powers to those that [culture secretary Jeremy Hunt] currently exercises."
The Royal Parks agency, which currently manages the parks, would be incorporated into the GLA reporting directly to the mayor, according to the proposal (HW 21 January p3).
Paul Bramhill, chief executive of parks charity Green Space, said the move could be an opportunity to raise the quality of more green spaces across London. "I am sure the Royal Parks agency could add real benefit to London parks as a whole in terms of knowledge and expertise. However the real concern is around the long term funding of them and where that is going to come from." (Horticulture Week 21 January p3.)