London Green Spaces Commission

Meet the London Green Spaces Commission. The group will work over the next 12 months to develop new models for the delivery and management of London’s green infrastructure.  

The aim of the Commission is to help support London boroughs transform how their parks services are managed and funded so that they can maintain or increase investment in parks and green spaces, in the context of substantial and ongoing constraints imposed on public sector funding.

The Commission is a commitment in the London Environment Strategy and supports the Mayor’s vision to make London a National Park City.

What is the makeup of the board?

  • membership is made up of 14 commissioners
  • 50% are women
  • 29% are from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) background

Members are supported by the GLA Green Infrastructure team and are not paid for their roles.

The commission will meet 6 times within the 12 months from April 2019 – March 2020.

Members will draw on their own expertise but can also call in external evidence and commission new research. A review of London's Parks & Green Spaces was prepared by Parks for London to inform the Commission.

The Commission will use knowledge of the economic value of London’s public green spaces to demonstrate the need for continued investment. Providing a broad partnership of decision-makers who support London’s public parks it will help develop and test sustainable business models for parks services in partnership with boroughs. 

The Commission will publish initial recommendations in 2020.

Call for evidence

We have invited organisations and individuals to submit views and information to the Commission, giving you the opportunity to inform our work and influence our recommendations. The deadline for formal written contributions has now passed but you can still get involved through Talk London or email us at [email protected].

Meet the board

Shirley Rodrigues

Shirley was appointed as Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy in October 2016. Previously she oversaw a global climate change grants portfolio at the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) and has developed and delivered new environmental policies and programmes in London, nationally and internationally. 

She is now working to deliver the Mayor’s vision of making London greener, cleaner and healthier, recently overseeing the publication of the Mayor’s London Environment Strategy. This includes ambitious plans to reduce air pollution across London, help the capital become a zero-carbon city by 2050 and making London the first National Park City.

Julian Bell

Julian was elected as an Ealing councillor in 2002 and is now serving his fourth term of office. As leader, Cllr Bell’s priorities have been to promote safety in the borough, secure public services, secure jobs and homes, improve the local environment and deliver value for money. Outside the borough he chairs the West London Alliance and the Local Strategic Partnership and is a member of the London Councils Executive and Chair of the Transport and Environment Committee.



Fiona Brenner

Fiona has worked at the intersection of public, private and community place-based delivery for 15 years. She is currently Area Manager for charity Groundwork London. Within this role, she partners with London boroughs and green space providers and organisations to develop sustainable community and environmental delivery approaches. In a previous role, she led the community and economic development strategies for the planning stages of NW Bicester, the UK’s first Eco Town.

Fiona is Director and Treasurer of Brixton Green, a 1300-member community organisation that has developed a model for delivery of larger scale community-led housing. Fiona holds an MBA from The Judge Business School, Cambridge University and is a Fellow of the RSA.    

Prakash Daswani MBE

Prakash is a cultural activist with 35 years of continuous frontline public service, promoting intercultural understanding and social cohesion in the UK and more widely through public arts and education programmes; symposia, policy papers, and cultural heritage career training.

Born in India to post-Partition religious refugees, he migrated with them to settle in London in 1961. State educated, he studied at four UK universities (1977-2013) in varying disciplines: English (BA); Arts Administration (MA); Social Anthropology (MSc); MBA.

He was the Co-Founder and Chief Executive of independent charity Cultural Co-operation (CC) (1987-2014); Deputy/Acting Arts Director at London’s Commonwealth Institute (CI) (1981-87) and Artistic Director of CC’s/CI’s 25 Music Village festivals and related world culture projects in London and beyond (1979-2014).

His voluntary governance roles have included serving as a member of HLF’s London Committee (2006-12), the Mayor’s Commission on Asian & African Heritage (2009) and Arts Council England (1988-9).  He has produced reports for and/or made presentations to: UNESCO (1995), British Council, Ford Foundation, Chatham House, the London Mayors Office (2009) and the Museums Association (2013).

Fiona Dean

Fiona has over 34 years experience in London Local Government. For the last 20 years has specialised in helping shape London’s green spaces and sports and leisure services; developing and procuring schemes and programmes to increase public access and health and well being.  Along with green spaces and leisure she has been responsible for borough-wide public libraries, arts and events, customer services and youth and play services.
Her most recent roles have been for the London Boroughs of Camden and latterly as Director of Leisure for the London Borough of Southwark.  She is a passionate innovator and transformational manager, looking for ways to support excellence in public services and promote the huge variety of green spaces and cultural places in London. 

Ruth Holmes

Ruth Holmes (BEng MA MAUD MSc CMLI) has over 20 years’ experience as a Chartered Landscape Architect working for the public, private and voluntary sectors. She currently works for London Legacy Development Corporation, which has responsibility for Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and developing neighbourhoods. For over 11 years she worked for The Royal Parks caring for over 5,000 acres of historic parkland in London.

She is the Chair of the London Parks & Gardens Trust, on the Royal Parks Guild, Metropolitan Public Gardens Association, Perennial (Policies & Services) and the World Urban Parks Healthy Parks Healthy Cities Committees. With keen interest in heritage, ecology, parks and horticulture she judges each year for Green Flag, Green Heritage and London in Bloom and is an examiner, mentor and supervisor for the Landscape Institute professional practice chartership.

Nigel Hughes MBE

After more than 30 years working for Grosvenor in a variety of roles and as The Estate Surveyor since 2012, Nigel has been responsible for the structure and fabric, planning and public realm of Grosvenor’s Mayfair and Belgravia estates.  Nigel took early retirement from Grosvenor in April 2019 while maintaining his role as Chairman of the Victoria Business Improvement District. 

In addition to his work with Grosvenor, Nigel was one of the founding directors of the Better Buildings Partnership, (now an organisation representing 30 of the largest property owners in London committed to reducing their carbon footprint), the Victoria Business Improvement District and the Mayfair and Belgravia Neighbourhood Forums. In 2016, Nigel was awarded an MBE for his ‘contribution to the business community in London’.

Trina Lynskey

Trina is an early years education consultant with a background in Sure Start Children’s Centres and early intervention. Trina is a founding member and chair of DeptfordFolk, a park user group in South East London. Under her leadership DeptfordFolk have secured significant funding to enhance parks and green spaces in one of London’s most deprived areas. This includes a Mayor of London’s flagship ‘Liveable Neighbourhood’ project. DeptfordFolk have planted 200 trees for the Evelyn200 project to highlight poor air quality and engage the community with their environment.

Trina is dedicated to improving children’s experience of the city. She campaigns to ensure all children have access to high-quality opportunities to play and learn outdoors. She also campaigns for safer school routes, air quality improvements and Healthy Streets.    

Nicola Mathers

Nicola joined Future of London as Head of Networks in March 2017 and became CEO in April 2019. She leads an organisation dedicated to supporting planning, housing and regeneration professionals across the capital through networks, insight and leadership. Nicola has guided the quality and growth of the professional development offer, co-ordinated research on Ageing Cities and now leads on strategy and business development.

Prior to Future of London, Nicola was Head of Cities Programme at Design Council Cabe. She oversaw the delivery of design training and expert advice for public-, private- and voluntary-sector clients. She also initiated Cabe’s Inclusive Environments programme, supporting built environment professionals to deliver inclusive buildings and spaces.

At CABE Nicola was part of the team championing the value of parks and green space across England. She managed and developed national toolkits and best practice guidance to support local authorities, communities and other public sector organisations in the planning, design and management of the public realm. 

Jill McLaughlin

Passionate about the value of London’s green spaces, Jill is a resident of Islington.  As both a volunteer organising social adult tennis and as Chair of Governors of Islington Futures Federation of Community Schools, she is very aware of the scarcity of green spaces in this densely populated borough and of their huge impact on our physical and mental health.

Previously as Director of Corporate Services at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, a globally unique green space in London, Jill learnt about the many and varied aspects and challenges of “park” management.  With over 10 years’ experience working in NDPB’s at a senior level she is well acquainted with the opportunities and constraints of income generation and securing capital investment in the public sector.   

Jill is excited by the opportunity to contribute to the future development of London’s green spaces at a time when the threats to our natural environment and the calls upon it are so great.

Peter Neal

Peter Neal is a landscape architect and environmental planner specialising in green infrastructure planning and the design, funding and management of urban parks and the public realm. He was formerly head of public space at the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment and was seconded to support the planning and design of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

He was author of the Rethinking Parks (2013) research report published by Nesta, and both State of UK Public Parks reports 2014 and 2016. He has given evidence to the government select committee on the future of public parks, is a Built Environment Expert for the Design Council and a Design Panel Member for Design South + East and Design South West. He serves on the London and South Area Committee for the National Lottery Heritage Fund and is a fellow of the Landscape Institute.

Tim Pope

Tim Pope is an Associate Director of PPL, an SME management consultancy focused, and has over twenty years experience working with local government.  
Tim has worked in the social and public sector advising on transport and built environment policy, regulation and legislation for disabled people. He subsequently went on to lead civil service teams responsible for policy on public spaces, social enterprise and community organisations. He also worked for Nesta, the UK innovation charity, on supporting social ventures and public service innovation. 

At PwC he worked with London Boroughs on organisational transformation and change programmes and at PPL is developing collaborations to improve the wider determinants of health and support wellbeing. He has a MSc and BA in Planning Studies from Oxford Brookes University and is a Fellow of the RSA with a passion for cities and public services.

Keith Townsend

Keith has been a corporate director at LB Ealing for 14 years with responsibility for environment and the chair of the professional body, London Environment Director’s Network.  

Keith’s began his career as a park ranger in the lower Lee Valley, moving to West London as a senior manager with responsibility for over 100 parks and open spaces.

Keith has led £60million restoration of Gunnersbury Park & Museum (the former Rothschilds family estate) for the last decade and also led the creation of Northala Fields including West London’s iconic, artificial hills constructed from material recycled from the old Wembley stadium.
Keith has driven major investment in parks and green spaces by taking a commercial approach to support the development of parks, alongside resident engagement and is passionate about the benefits they provide for Londoners to enjoy wildlife, heritage, sport, to relax and have fun.  

Adrian Wickham

Adrian has worked within the Green Services Industry since 1992. Adrian first joined Glendale as a team leader and has since worked within 17 London Boroughs, delivering greenspace management, construction or arboriculture. Adrian has developed and delivered successful sports, events, funding and community engagement strategies over the past 10 years.  

During Adrian’s time at Glendale he achieved work based horticultural qualifications through the RHS and vocational courses before studying business and achieving his MBA in 2011. Adrian has worked his way up through the company from a team leader to Managing Director over his 21-year career. Adrian has recently been nominated to join the board of the British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) and has been a Green Flag judge for over 17 years as well as a member of the Institute of Horticulture.

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