Croydon Labour refuse to support London National Park City campaign
30/06/2017 15:57:00......Posted by Mario Creatura
Yesterday Dan Raven-Ellison walked around London raising awareness of the excellent National Park City campaign: http://www.nationalparkcity.london/big_walk_around_london
It's a really important cause, for a few reasons why do take a look at this video: https://ravenellison.com/portfolio/london-national-park-city/
Earlier in the year, I asked Cllr Timothy Godfrey, Labour Cabinet Member in charge of parks, why his party had refused to support the campaign and asked them to get on board! Here was my question:
CQ012-17 from Councillor Mario Creatura to Councillor Timothy Godfrey
'Almost a year ago, every ward held by Croydon Conservatives declared their support for the 'Greater London National Park City' campaign: http://www.croydonconservatives.com/news_search_results_detail.asp?StoryNo=1541
London can become a National Park City once at least two-thirds (436) of London’s 654 wards, the Mayor of London and the London Assembly have declared their support. So far just 213 wards have.
Despite requesting that Croydon's 40 Labour councillors register their support, none have yet done so. I feel this is a terrible shame.
Could the Cabinet Member please explain their reason for ignoring Conservative calls for cross-party support on this campaign to date? Alternatively will the Cabinet Member endorse our calls that Croydon becomes the first full borough in London to declare its support? Members can do so using the http://www.nationalparkcity.london/ website.
Cllr Jason Perry, Shadow Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Planning & Regeneration, commented at the time: “Croydon is the most populated London borough and has over 120 parks and open spaces. We felt it vitally important to support this initiative that will protect and promote our precious green spaces for generations to come.” I hope all members of the Council agree with that sentiment, and that all Croydon Labour Councillors will be encouraged to get behind this important initiative.'
Cllr Godfrey replied some weeks later asserting that I was incorrect, that the administration did actually support the project. Read his reply and see if you agree...
'Councillor Creatura is inaccurate in suggesting that the administration is not in support of the Greater London National Park City campaign and similarly mistaken in calling for Croydon to be the first London borough to declare full support which was achieved in Islington and Ealing last year. As of February 2016, 220 voting wards out a total of 654 across the capital have declared their support via their local councillors. In Croydon councillors from 10 wards have declared their support.
As you are aware the aims of the London National Park movement are :
- All Londoners will have free and easy access to high-quality green space
- Connect 100% of London’s children to nature
- Make 51% of London physically green
- Improve London’s air & water quality
- Improve biodiversity and connectivity between habitats
- Inspire the building of affordable homes green homes
- Inspire new business activities
- Promote London as a Green World City
- Nurture a shared National Park City identity for Londoners
A strong policy context already exists to support these aims within the Croydon Local Plan. Croydon also makes a significant contribution to the area of high quality green space within London with 25% of the borough being made up of recreational space and broad leaved woodland and a further 35% made up of residential garden space. Theoretically making Croydon at least 60% green.
Croydon therefore already exceeds the campaigns aspirations as a borough.
Council polices naturally align with those of the campaign as do those of Mayor Khan at the London Level. We warmly welcome Mayor Khan’s action to tackle air pollution.
We warmly welcome the campaign highlighting the importance of green infrastructure to London residents.
This mirrors our administrations founding of the borough group that brings together friends of parks, woodlands and green spaces across the borough. This ensures that the voice of all local parks are amplified and knowledge shared.
This administration believes that we need to improve the quality of our open space and the opportunities within those open spaces through ongoing investment in our Parks and Green Spaces across our borough. In this way we will be able to better support existing and new residents as this borough continues to grow.
This is all being achieved in the context of targeted cuts to Local Government. In Croydon that means that the Government has reduced our funding by 65.3% (cuts through to 2017) while continuing to fund other London boroughs more generously per head of population.'
Despite the claims of Cllr Godfrey, to date no Labour-held ward has declared their support for the campaign: http://www.nationalparkcity.london/ward_support