Mayor should help councils keep London's parks great, report says

London Assembly members have called on London Mayor Sadiq Khan to outline how he will meet his election pledge to increase green space in the city and to establish a data collection action plan to help target investment.

Park life: St James Park in Walthamstow, east London. Image: HW
Park life: St James Park in Walthamstow, east London. Image: HW

Members of the London Assembly’s Environment Committee want further clarification on Khan’s manifesto pledge make more than 50% of the city green and to ensure that all children have access to nature, during a time when London’s parks and green spaces face an uncertain future due to limited funds.

They have also recommended Khan appoint a green infrastructure champion for London and task Team London, his volunteering programme, to assist green space managers in recruitment, retention and satisfaction of volunteers, including assistance for fundraising, diversifying the membership base and connecting with target groups.

The Greater London Authority should also establish a city-wide website to provide key information on all London’s green spaces, including ways to get involved and a crowdfunding function.

The recommendations were made in a report published today following the committee’s inquiry into the capital’s parks.

‘Park life: ensuring green spaces remain a hit with Londoners’ found the capital’s green spaces provide environmental, physical, mental, social and economic benefits for Londoners.

It is calling on the Mayor to include its recommendations in his forthcoming Environment Strategy.

Environment Committee Chair, Leonie Cooper AM, said: "It is no longer the case that we can rely on local councils alone to maintain our parks and other green spaces. The money is simply not available. They will still play a central role, but need support.

This report encourages forward thinking to ensure London’s parks and green spaces – which are renowned throughout the world – are not only protected but also improved. We recommend that volunteers play a key role, crowdfunding is explored, and private investment is encouraged across the board.

We’re calling for a team effort – with the Mayor supporting the public and private sectors to work with Londoners to protect and improve our green spaces."

The committee said its inquiry had "stimulated a huge response from the public and stakeholders, including trusts, charities and local authorities".

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