110,000 Londoners vote for ten favourite winning parks
The Mayor today (Wednesday 4 March) revealed that Lordship Recreation Ground, Haringey, and Dollis Valley Green Walk, Barnet, are among the top-ten winning parks to each receive a £400,000 makeover following a public vote.
Londoners were recently invited by the Mayor to vote on a shortlist of parks across the capital in order to fund improvements to make them more attractive and safer for local communities. More than 110,000 people cast their vote and the winners have been announced today.
Funding for the parks’ makeovers comes from efficiency savings made from the former administration’s publicity budget including the scrapping of The Londoner newspaper.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: ‘In a fantastic show of people power, Londoners have voted in their droves to decide which of their ten favourite parks will get a makeover. So is it incredibly exciting to reveal today the results of the ‘parks plebiscite’, and thanks to this loyal support of local people, ten parks across the capital are now set to become much more pleasant places.
‘Londoners deserve a better quality of life and making a greener, more attractive city is a top priority, so I am thrilled to announce that Lordship Recreation Ground and Dollis Valley Green Walk are deserving winners.
‘Many thanks to all those who voted and showed such enthusiasm for their local park.
The Mayor also announced that Burgess Park is being awarded a larger £2million grant to undertake a more substantial upgrade. This winner was decided by the Mayor taking advice from a panel of experts.
There are exciting plans afoot at Lordship Recreation Ground and the Mayor’s grant will help to bring them to fruition. The River Moselle, now in a concrete pipe, would be restored to an open stream; development of a new city farm, play area and café; creation of wildflower meadows; restoration of the Park’s historic features.
Although much of the Dollis Valley Greenwalk is attractive, parts have become overgrown, with a run down feel. A grant is expected to: clear overgrown scrub to open up views and help people feel safer; install lighting at key points; and improve footpaths and signage; install new play facilities at Windsor Open Space and natural play features at the nearby Brent Park.
Work to improve the winning parks is set to take place after detailed plans have been drawn up in conjunction with local borough councils, which will be subject to local consultations. For those parks that did not win the public vote, the Mayor has asked City Hall officers to provide advice on other grants and funding that could be available to them from other organisations.
In addition to providing space for recreation and leisure purposes, the benefits of green spaces include: improving health and quality of life by providing opportunities for out door exercise and contact with nature; supporting biodiversity; helping to manage flood risk; providing cooling and shade; and helping to reduce air and noise pollution.
London boroughs nominated almost 100 green spaces in their areas that were in need of extra care and 47 were short listed by a panel of experts for Londoners to vote on. To ensure the money is used on parks across London, the parks were divided into five London sub-regions (North West, North, North East, South East and South West) with around ten parks per sub-region.
Voting took place between 25 November 2008 and 30 January 2009 online, by text message and by postal voting forms. A list of final voting figures per park is available on www.london.gov.uk/parksvote/