Merton turns to Facebook to boost votes for £400,000 park makeover

Merton Council has set up a Facebook fan page to encourage people to vote for the borough’s Ravensbury Park in a bid to win a £400,000 park makeover.

Ravensbury Park is in with a chance to gain substantial funding of £400,000 from the Mayor of London’s Help a London Park competition, and is one of only 10 parks in the south west region of London to be shortlisted.

Voting is simple and free and has to be completed by 30 January 2009. The various ways to vote are:

Website: Log onto the Help a London Park website at and select ‘vote for your park’

Become a Facebook fan and vote for Ravensbury Park at

Text message: text ‘parks’ and your full London post code to 62967. This will automatically vote for the park on the shortlist nearest to the post code and within the borough.

Post: request a voting form by calling City Hall’s Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100

If Ravensbury Park is successful, the council will work with local residents to firm up exciting plans which at this stage include an interactive water play area and improved access for all users, including full disability access. New seating, flower beds and litter bins would also be top priorities to ensure that the park remains clean, green and attractive. Merton’s plans will include proposals to improve the park’s wildlife value, for example by installing bird and bat boxes.

Ravensbury Park is located by the River Wandle and is a valuable asset to the borough. Popular with residents, the park provides a variety of leisure activities for the whole family.

Forty-seven parks across the capital are competing for the improvement grants and Merton’s Ravensbury Park is going head-to-head with 10 other parks in the south west region. Two parks in each of the five regions will benefit from grants of up to £400,000 to make them cleaner, safer, greener, and more pleasant places to visit.

Merton Council’s cabinet member for the environment, Councillor David Simpson said: ‘We want people to vote for Ravensbury Park so that residents can benefit from this amazing opportunity. We should all take pride in the beautiful, open green spaces we have in Merton. Anyone can vote so if you can get all your friends and family to support our campaign to achieve this funding that would be fantastic.

‘The credit crunch is affecting many families, yet right here on our doorstep we have the opportunity to vote to improve a Merton park which provides free days out for everyone all year round.’