Tuesday, 11 October 2011

In Crystal Palace Park we trust

(via Bromley Council website)

An alternative approach to managing Crystal Palace Park was explored on Tuesday night, to ensure that it is enjoyed for generations to come.  A proposal outlining a governance structure for the strategically located park to improve it and attract visitors and investment was reviewed at the Environment Pre-Decision Scrutiny Committee on Tuesday night. The report will now go through the Renewal & Recreation Pre-Decision Scrutiny Committee, and then the Executive.  

"Our intention is to secure major investment for this fantastic, scenic asset, and to build markedly upon the works we already do locally. It offers a vision, and a wonderful opportunity for the five neighbouring Boroughs to work together to transform the park into a regional gem capable of matching any other park across the Capital. It's simply not right or proper that South East Londoners have to contribute to the upkeep of Lee Valley Regional Park, but get nothing back in return for Crystal Palace's upkeep. We are still in the early stages of a long journey, but I am optimistic a joint approach will make a key difference which benefits us all in the end", said Councillor Colin Smith, Executive Councillor for Environment.  
Crystal Palace Park is situated on the border of five London boroughs; Bromley, Croydon, Lambeth, Lewisham, and Southwark and as a result has evoked a diverse range of community interest and support. At present, all London boroughs pay a statutory levy to the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, for the maintenance of Lee Valley Regional Park. However, the Council hopes that the five neighbouring boroughs will join forces to challenge this levy thereby freeing funds to bring Crystal Palace Park back into the 21st century.  

Recommendations of the report include:  
  • examining the creation of a 'not-for-profit' organisation to govern the park
  • discussions to be pursued with established organisations that have the experience and capability of managing green spaces, such as the National Trust and English Heritage
  • the investigation of options to challenge the Lee Valley Park Act 1966 in collaboration with neighbouring boroughs to obtain agreement to reinvest Bromley's funds in Crystal Palace Park.
The proposal will later be opened up to wider consultation, with future governance options presented to the Executive late next year.  
Notes to editors:
  • For media enquiries, contact Hanna Smith, Communications Officer, on 020 8461 7542 or email hanna.smith@bromley.gov.uk
  • The Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA) is financed from a levy calculated from the council tax base of Hertfordshire, Essex and Greater London
  • The total amount to be raised by Bromley for the LVRPA for 2011/12 is £394,000.