Boris Johnson has announced his first appointments to the new Royal Parks board.
The board is being established after the UK coalition watered down earlier plans to pass full control of the eight Royal Parks in London to City Hall.
Instead, the parks will remain in Crown ownership with City Hall merely gaining “a voice in the parks’ management” and the Royal Parks Agency remaining an executive agency of the Department for Culture Media and Sport.
Under the revised arrangements, the Mayor has the power to appoint members of the board subject to oversight and “review by the Secretary of State.”
The Mayor is able to appoint half of the 12 member board. Of the remaining six, three are to be appointed by London’s local councils, one must be a member of the Royal Household with the final two seats held by the agency’s Chief Executive and a second executive.
Mayor Johnson has asked four current Royal Parks board members to serve on the new board which will be chaired by Apurv Bagri.
The other appointees are Sue Moore, Marketing and Customer Development Director Bupa Health & Wellbeing; Ruth Anderson, a non executive director of Ocado; and Andrew Fenwick, Group Finance Director of Brunswick PR Group.
Announcing the appointments, the Mayor said: ‘I am delighted that several members of the current board, including Chairman Apurv Bagri, have accepted my invitation to carry on in their roles.
“This means we can take advantage of their extensive experience as we seek to bolster how Londoners can get more involved in the running of these wonderful parks.’
Heritage and Tourism Minister John Penrose, added: ‘The Royal Parks and the magnificent buildings they house are a big part of what makes London a magnet for tourists from all over the world, and never more so than next year when millions will enjoy them in person, and hundreds of millions will see them on TV.
“But for all this, they are first and foremost a delight and a source of inspiration for everyone who lives and works in the capital. These plans will ensure that Londoners have a chance to make sure they stay special by having a bigger say in the way they’re run.’
The London Assembly have welcomed the new management arrangements for the parks.
Murad Qureshi, Chair of the Environment Committee, said: “The Royal Parks are a hugely important asset to the capital and it is only right that Londoners should have a genuine say in the way they are run.
Qureshi said his committee would “be keeping a close eye on developments to ensure that in future the parks become truly accountable to Londoners and remain a resource the capital can be proud of.”