SMTV was given a miss on Saturday morning as two busloads of Merton’s councillors and officers toured the borough to gain an overview of the parks and open spaces.
Merton Council is one of the greenest boroughs in London and has a large amount of land that it is responsible for. However it is an enormous challenge for the Council to maintain the land. The bus tour aimed to gain an overview of the amount of land the borough has and the problems that face it in terms of management and lack of resources.
The tour was part of a trio of events organised to:
· Raise the profile of parks and open spaces
· Recognise the good work already being done by the department and local friends groups
· Work with partners to try and improve the quality of the environment.
In addition to the tour, a video has also been produced to recognise and promote voluntary and collective effort of maintaining the boroughs park. It also aims to gain partnership support from the GLA, The Heritage Fund and City Corporation.
The video will be shown at a one-day partnership conference, on Thursday 19 June, which will be attended by friends groups, councillor officers, councillors, the police and youth groups. The conference will address the issues of community safety, community involvement, how to maximise resources and the planning framework.
Merton Council’s Cabinet Member for Environmental Quality, Councillor Linda Kirby, who requested these events, said: “I hope that we will be able to work together to restore the wonderful green spaces to their former glory, so that residents can, once again, feel proud of these assets.
“We are very grateful to the many friends groups across the borough for all the support they bring to their local parks. We want to be able to help them further their plans with a little support from us through match-funding.”