Fresh calls to abolish tax on south Londoners for Lee Valley park 20 miles away
Politicians are calling on the management of a park in north-east London to stop taking money from south London taxpayers.
This year taxpayers in Sutton will hand over £219,000 to the Lee Valley Park Authority, which runs the park that covers a strip of land in north-east London, Hertfordshire and Essex.
The Sutton Guardian and its sister newspapers have long campaigned for an end to the tax but now it seems the park's bosses are taking notice and have pledged to reduce its reliance on handouts from taxpayers.
But Sutton and Croydon's Greater London Assembly (GLA) member is calling on bosses to come up with a business plan that will let people use the money on local parks.
Conservative Steve O'Connell said: "I very much welcome the Lee Valley Park management team making a commitment to run their facilities on a proper commercial basis.
"However, it isn’t unreasonable for them to work up a business plan that means they no longer need to take £584k from Croydon and Sutton.
"This is money that could be spent on local parks such as the Wandle Valley and sports facilities.
"When both central government and local authorities have to ensure that everything they do wipes its own face, the Lee Valley Authority has to do the same."
The Lee Valley Park Authority made the pledge after the release of a report entitled London's Hidden Charge: Ending The Lee Valley Tax, penned by GLA member Richard Tracey.
The report shows an average of 9,000 people from Sutton visit the park each year meaning the each visit costs the taxpayer more than £20 whereas more than 500,000 people from Enfield visit each year at a cost of just 62p each.
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