Lea Valley Park Precept

Meeting: 
MQT on 2015-03-25
Session date: 
March 25, 2015
Reference: 
2015/1061
Question By: 
Valerie Shawcross
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor
Category: 

Question

Would you be supportive of any move to seek to amend the operation of the Lea Valley Precept, for example to allocate a portion of the monies raised to a strategically important south London park, such as Crystal Palace?

Answer

Answer for Lea Valley Park Precept

Answer for Lea Valley Park Precept

Answered By: 
The Mayor

The Lee Valley Regional Park is part funded by a levy on the 33 London billing authorities as well as on Essex and Hertfordshire County Councils and Thurrock Borough Council. In 2015-16, London boroughs will contribute a total of £8.1 million in levy payments to the Authority – equivalent to 98p per Londoner or £3 per band D council taxpayer.

The determination of the levy is a matter for the Park Authority having regard to the existing legislation and the revenues raised could not, under current arrangements, be redirected to fund other activities. I am aware however of the concerns raised about the cost of the levy for Londoners living some distance from the park. My colleague Richard Tracey wrote a very thoughtful and informative paper on the matter in 2012.

I would of course be happy to consider proposals for reforming the current levy arrangements provided an alternative sustainable source of revenue for the Lee Valley Park could be identified. The Park Authority has taken steps to reduce the levy burden on taxpayers in recent years and I would encourage them to continue to find ways to reduce the levy in the future.

I am also committed to supporting investment in Crystal Palace and other key strategic parks in London but I am not convinced that replicating the historic Lee Valley levy structure is necessarily the best way to deliver this.