Why won't Croydon Labour support making London a National Park City?
01/02/2017 17:02:00......Posted by Mario Creatura
I've sent the below question in to the Council, I'll update this blog when I receive a response:
Almost a year ago, every ward held by Croydon Conservatives declared their support for the 'Greater London National Park City' campaign.
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.
Reply finally received on 9th March 2017 from Cllr Timothy Godfrey:
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.