“London’s Royal Parks are a real success story,” said Mr Penrose. “They delight millions of visitors every year as a big part of the London tourist experience and give those who live and work in the Capital a quiet and well-maintained place to relax and enjoy a whole host of leisure activities. We believe the time is now right to make them more accountable to the public, and to do so by passing responsibility for their continued success to the Mayor, rather than a remote figure in national government.”
The statement of intent gives Londoners full democratic accountability with the Parks getting a high-profile champion, and clear links established between their management and other London-wide issues such as planning, transport, tourism, the environment and leisure.
Strong safeguards would also be put in place to protect identity and character of the Parks, including guarantees that:
The traditional identity and character of the Parks would be preserved, with their national importance recognised
The wide range of interests within, and uses of, the Parks continue to be recognised
The parks would be managed on behalf of the nation as a whole with local representation and a Board containing members appointed by the Mayor and with one appointed by the Sovereign
Control of the Royal Parks from the DCMS to the Greater London Authority is proposed to take place at the earliest legislative opportunity.