Boris Johnson and Brian Paddick back No to Lee Valley Tax campaign
Candidates in London's mayoral race have backed our No to Lee Valley Tax campaign.
Current Conservative mayor Boris Johnson, and his Lib Dem rival Brian Paddick, both gave support to our calls for an end to an unfair tax that has seen south London councils lose millions of pounds over the past 45 years funding a north London park.
Mr Johnson said he would raise the matter with the secretary of state for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, who could bring in a change of legislation which would stop contributions to fund the Lee Valley Regional Park.
Legislation, passed by the Government in 1966, has meant a precept has been added since 1967-68 to all London local authority council tax bills.
This year it will cost Kingston taxpayers £181,350, Sutton £212,852, Croydon £370,774, Merton £214,792 and Wandsworth £368,506, to fund the 10,000 acre park based in north London, Hertfordshire and Essex.
Mr Johnson said: "The Mayor has a great deal of sympathy for south-west London boroughs regarding this issue and would like to see the funding system made fairer and more equitable.
"He will certainly be raising it with the Secretary of State."
Brian Paddick said he backed Tom Brake's calls in Parliament last week to amend the legislation that created the Lee Valley Regional Park levy to allow London local authorities the option of investing the money they currently contribute to the Lee Valley Regional Park via the levy into other regional parks.
Labour mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone's campaign office was contacted several times asking him to back the campaign, but he has so far failed to provide a response.
A spokesman for Green Party candidate Jenny Jones said she backed fairer funding for regional parks.
He said: "The mayor should be in charge of all regional parks, including Lea Valley and the proposed Wandle Valley (which we fully support).
"We would then allocate the tax revenue more fairly to regional parks across London."