Greenwich can make history if its Labour Council signs up to a pioneering new initiative.
The National Park City campaign seeks to designate London as the UK’s first National Park City, a community united by a shared goal of increasing the amount of green space available to its residents.
Designation will be achieved by over half of London’s elected politicians backing the proposal. The campaign, headed by the London Park City charity, has been running since 2013 and is now very close to securing the support of 50% of London politicians. The Mayor of London and a range of Labour Councils are amongst those backing the proposals.
Greenwich Council have to date refused to join Labour colleagues in signing up to the campaign. When asked about their opposition to the proposals by residents and opposition councillors, Greenwich Labour politicians have suggested that the campaign, if successful, would lead to green spaces in the Royal Borough being ‘handed over’ to the London Park City charity.
Greenwich Greens have been in touch with the charity to ask for more information on this – the charity have confirmed that signing up to the campaign is signing up to a set of values only. Councils would retain complete control of green spaces and planning decisions, but would be committed to doing all they can to make the capital a more welcoming space for wildlife, and to make that wildlife accessible for residents.
London’s designation as a National Park City represents a change of thinking – away from seeing a city merely as a collection of bricks and concrete, and towards a future where the lives of all Londoners are enriched by the living landscape.
Commenting today Dan Garrun, Green candidate for Peninsula ward in Greenwich, said:
It appears Greenwich’s Labour councillors have got the wrong end of the stick about the National Park City campaign. It isn’t a power grab, or a funding plea – it’s an exciting opportunity to write a new, green chapter in London’s history.
We hope that Greenwich Council can join with colleagues, and the Labour Mayor, in embracing this creative vision for London. Wouldn’t it be great if Greenwich, home to wonderful green spaces ranging from the vast lawns of Greenwich Park to the gem that is the eco-park, became the Council whose support made the Park City designation a reality? Come on Greenwich councillors, make it happen!
More information about the Park City campaign, and the benefits designation would provide, can be found here.
You can declare your support for the campaign here.