LVRPA Considers Transferring Operations to a Leisure Trust

Here is the Future of LVRPA letter they sent out this week, outlining their plans and below is the response by Laurie Elks, of the Lea Valley Federation, to this communication which elucidates our shared concern as to what will happen to our green spaces, presently under the remit of the Authority, in future:

Dear Shaun and Derrick,
 
I have received your e-mail about the Authority’s future intentions.  We were aware that this was contemplated and I can see the financial logic from the Authority’s point of view.   As it happens, in my now distant days as a commercial lawyer I acted for a Trust on a “bulk transfer” of a local authority’s leisure facilities so I understand the contractual ramifications.
 
As you have raised this now I will let you know that it has been agreed within the Lee Valley Federation that I will write a pamphlet, provisionally to be called Lee Valley – Time for a Rethink revisited.  It will revisit the themes of Time for a Rethink (published in 1980 and available on the LVF website) which had some considerable impact on the thinking of the Authority at the time.
 
I will go further and let you know that (although the Park Authority has done and continues to do good work at some sites such as Fishers Green and Walthamstow Marsh) the view we take is that the Authority as a custodian of the Park as a “green lung” is a busted flush.  The regional remit, the Olympic legacy, and the financial pressures mean that the cost of running regional facilities is such that the energy and resource to care for the Park as a green lung is always going to be inadequate and residual.  A demerger of the Authority’s functions with a separate, committed and adequately-resourced body with a “green” remit is the only way to resolve this situation.
 
The reason I am telling you this now is that in principle, your proposal could be a step in precisely this direction.  However, it is impossible to respond to your consultation without a clear understanding of how the residual green arm of the Authority will be organised, staffed and – above all – resourced. 
 
I would expect that your members will also require this information and – to be frank – if they do not require this they will not be doing their job very well!
 
Would you please let me know what further information about this is going to be forthcoming to consultees and to members in advance of the Authority meeting on 27th February.  Since your consultation has gone out less than three weeks before the decision-taking meeting could you let me have an answer by the end of the coming week?
 
Best regards
 
 
Laurie Elks
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