Playing Fields (Supplementary) [6]

Session date: 
November 19, 2003
Question By: 
John Biggs
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


I strongly support the position you have taken on the loss of open space in local authority areas, even though that might occasionally make me unpopular in my area. But clearly, once the space is lost, it is lost forever. I think this is an area where there needs to be far greater development dialogue between yourself and the boroughs; a very delicate area because, of course, with increasing demand for public facilities new schools, new hospitals etc, you very often find the authorities have sold off the land that it sits on, which they could have previously built on and I think this is an area where there needs to be part of far greater dialogue.

I will abuse my role if I can, with the Chair's indulgence, by asking a second half to this question, which is totally different, which is whether you think that Londoners will benefit as strongly as I do from the designation of the National Park on the South Downs? That is a very important open space issue for Londoners, to provide access to good amenities to London and it should be strongly supported by us as a sitting government in London.

Supplementary To: 


Answer for Playing Fields (Supplementary) [6]

Answer for Playing Fields (Supplementary) [6]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I very strongly support that designation. Londoners have been using the South Downs for generations. I think they should be protected. I think, as well, that the two big pluses we have coming in London will be when Rainham Marshes are no longer used for dumping garbage and it becomes properly grassed over and managed. This is going to be a wonderful, new park for Londoners and we have to have the accessibility, which is why I really want the Dockland Light Railway (DLR) to be able to get down to Rainham so Londoners from all over can go down and see not just a wonderful park, but a major site for birdlife.

The Lea Valley development, with or without the Olympics, will lead to a massive increase in open space for Londoners, a useful and captivating space. This, I think, is one of the great legacies of the Olympic bid. It will be a major factor in helping us win in Singapore.