When Boris scrapped The Londoner he was fulfilling a pledge to divert the money to tree planting and 'protect and preserve' our open spaces. Today it was announced that we'll be able to vote for our local park to get a slice of the £6m pie set aside for the Priority Parks project.
Taking a leaf out of reality TV's preferred way of doing things, he told the BBC:
Londoners know best which areas are most deserving of this cash boost, so I am going to ask them to vote for the places they want to see become greener and cleaner.
While it's one thing for a public vote to decide the outcome of a telly show like Restoration, since that money is clearly windfall rather than the distribution of taxpayer's money, it's quite another to be deciding the fate of our local green spaces with a popularity contest. One over enthusiastic community group could easily swamp the online poll, like fans do the BB eviction votes. So, whilst people's opinions of which parks need help should certainly be taken into consideration, we can't help thinking that genuine consultation with local councils and those that work in the parks, rather than token reaching out to 'the people' to say Boris loves you, might be wiser.
Cynicism aside, we'd love to see our parks actually benefit from this diverted fund and who knows, they might be cropping up, profiled in a Nature-ist near you soon.
We'll alert you to the poll when it pops up.