Londoners are being invited to help select ten parks which will receive grants of £400,000 to spend on safety initiatives such as new lighting, better playground facilities and improved cycle paths.
The cash is being offered by Mayor of London Boris Johnson and follows a manifesto commitment to improve the quality of parks in the capital.
In addition to the ten £400,000 grants, one park will be awarded up to £2 million for a major makeover.
The scheme is being funded from claimed publicity savings although Green Party members of the London Assembly have previously accused the Mayor of overspending any savings.
Speaking at the Environment Agency’s annual conference on Tuesday, Johnson said he wanted to “urge Londoners to use their vote so the most deserving parks in the capital benefit from these ten hefty prizes.”
Londoners can vote to choose which parks get the £400,000 simply by logging on to www.london.gov.uk/parksvote
London’s green economy Johnson also used his appearance at the conference to outline his vision to create “a thriving green economy” and set out how the capital can cut carbon emissions by 60 per cent by 2025.
The Mayor’s initiatives include catalysing the large-scale uptake of new technologies such as low-carbon outdoor lighting, LED traffic lights, and electric vehicles and help for businesses to reduce their energy costs.
Johnson told delegates: “Volatile oil prices and an economic downturn are coming together to make action on climate change a potential boom industry. I want to unleash the potential to create a thriving eco-economy in London providing new ‘green collar’ jobs, skills and businesses. This is a rapidly-growing, multi-billion pound global industry and we can and must take advantage of it.”
Labour Members on the London Assembly dismissed the Mayor’s speech and said Johnson was a “a Johnny come lately to environmental matters.”
Assembly Member Murad Qureshi commented: “On the very same day Boris tries to re-invent himself as pro-green and pro-environment, the reality at City Hall is true blue. He has decimated the environmental department and slashed their budget.”