How much Lee Valley Regional Park is costing London

Lee Valley Regional Park. Credit: London Tonight

A total of £11.7 million was levied from local authorities in the financial year 2012/13, including £8.7 million from London boroughs and this funding continues to make up the majority of the Lee Valley Regional Park’s income and expenditure. This is according to research done by Richard Tracey of the Greater London Authority Conservatives.

Since its establishment in 1967, the park has been funded by a levy on all London boroughs, together with the whole of Hertfordshire and Essex.

The Lee Valley Regional Park is a 26-mile regional park located in parts of north east London, Hertfordshire and Essex.

The park’s activities include regional sports centres, urban green spaces, country parks, nature reserves, gardens and heritage sites.

An average of 2.4 million Londoners visit the park per year, although visitor numbers vary widely across different boroughs.

Now London Assembly member Richard Tracey is questioning whether this guaranteed annual subsidy from council tax payers should continue.

Local authorities have increasing pressures on their finances, with competing priorities for their limited resources, whilst the Lee Valley area is remote to many London boroughs and their residents.

At the same time, the Lee Valley Regional Park has numerous sporting and leisure facilities, including some of the new Olympic venues that it is due to gain, with considerable economic potential.

Mr Tracey is making the case that it is time for the Lee Valley Regional Park to become entirely self-sufficient.

He thinks that within the next five years, the compulsory levy on local authorities should be phased out, with appropriate changes to legislation, and he thinks the park should become a self-financing operation.

2012/13 council tax levy by local authority:

Barking & Dagenham - £152,409

Barnet - £411,054

Bexley - £242,895

Brent - £282,493

Bromley - £384,879

Camden - £279,485

City of London - £17,419

Croydon - £370,774

Ealing - £343,607

Enfield - £317,008

Greenwich - £232,600

Hackney - £222,072

Hammersmith & Fulham - £229,923

Haringey - £249,710

Harrow - £253,044

Havering - £258,783

Hillingdon - £287,770

Hounslow - £251,783

Islington - £257,757

Kensington & Chelsea - £286,229

Kingston upon Thames - £181,351

Lambeth - £311,565

Lewisham - £255,940

Merton - £214,792

Newham - £221,148

Redbridge - £261,742

Richmond upon Thames - £258,361

Southwark - £287,183

Sutton - £212,852

Tower Hamlets - £260,761

Waltham Forest - £221,834

Wandsworth - £368,506

Westminster - £377,266

Total London - £8,764,992

Hertfordshire - £1,297,949

Essex - £1,536,474

Thurrock - £149,885

Total Levy - £11,749,300

Figures from Richard Tracey of the Greater London Authority Conservatives.

Here are your views on what you think of taxpayers outside the borough funding Lee Valley Regional Park:

  • Kimberley Winter-Sullivan: What about a bit of both. Part Funding by the Tax Payer, Part funding privately? Ya never know, but one would think that by creating a joint working partnership, it may not only save money but may also improve the facilities at Lee Valley.

  • Warren Scott: I would rather pay for this, that benefits everyone in the Area than that Abu Qatada

  • Taylor Vande Zande Smith: Should the public decide, our money, our choice. If only it worked that way...

  • Colin Simpson: It's not fair due to the current economic climate and with the cost of food plus electric and gas bills.

  • Kaylie Mansfield: tax payers use the park so they should pay towards the park. My boyfriend volunteers his free time for the parks.

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