MERTON COUNCIL PRESS STATEMENT
Statement re Council to Invest in Sustainable Gardens in Partnership with Friends Groups
27 January 2005
Merton Council is proposing to use the invest-to-save fund to ensure permanent planting as appropriate in local gardens.
Councillor Linda Kirby, Cabinet Member for Environmental Quality said: “The council values the commitment and work of local Friends Groups to their parks and gardens.
“We have proposed investing in appropriate sustainable solutions for local gardens with permanent planting to replace annual bedding that is intended to ensure that beauty is maintained for local residents.
“However, we know that any kind of change introduces a level of uncertainty and recognize that there are local concerns.
“I want to discuss with individual Friends groups in a completely open way the right long term solution for their park. We need to explore partnership arrangements and trusts and develop solutions that will last the test of time. That means looking at specific solutions, management arrangements and funding.
“It would be completely wrong if Friends groups thought that the council was putting into effect permanent changes in planting arrangements without full discussion with them. We need time to work through the right long-term solutions for each park.
“That is why I am giving my personal guarantee that no new permanent planting arrangements will be implemented during the coming financial year without the agreement of the local Friends group. We want to look together at all the alternatives, perhaps travelling to see affordable solutions at, for example, Kew, Wisley and Ham House.
“I am sure that in partnership we can achieve a sustainable solution for each park.”
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