Letter: Stop Our Payments To The Lee Valley

Dear Editor

I believe it is time that we had a strong campaign to stop the payment of £1.2m precept money every year by residents of Merton, Sutton, Wandsworth and Croydon to the Lee Valley Regional Park and instead divert that money to the new Wandle Valley Regional Park. The Lee Valley receives money from every council tax-payer in London as well as the County Councils in Hertfordshire and Essex.

In contrast our own Wandle Valley Regional Park leads a threadbare existence supported by the small allowances that our local boroughs can afford. When the current arrangements were made in 1966, there was an argument that the whole of London should help restore the Lee Valley, which was then a polluted-ex industrial wasteland in a poor area.

Now after the Olympics and years of investment this is a beautiful park run by a copper bottomed Park Authority. Yet few visitors from SW London ever go there. The current Government and Boris have been asked to support legislation for change, but have refused to do so. Now in the run up to the national and London Mayoral elections we should demand that change. Let us repatriate our annual £1.2m payment and use it to support our own beautiful river park instead.

Councillor Andrew Judge

Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Wimbledon

February 3, 2015