Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum submitted by the Association of London Government

  1.  The Association of London Government represents the 32 London boroughs and the Corporation of London. The Association seeks to provide a single voice for London. Its main policy committee is the Leaders' Committee, made up of the leaders of the 32 London boroughs and the Corporation. The Association also has several subject panels dealing with key policy areas. These include a Culture and Tourism Panel and an Environment and Transport Committee. These set Association policy in these areas. The Panel and Committee are made up of members from the 32 London boroughs and the Corporation.

  2.  The ALG is keen to promote the view that London is "open for business". In a Chief Executives' circular to member authorities it advised that, "Where it is safe to do so, we would encourage boroughs to re-open footpaths, which serve the local population and economy, or which lead to or are in areas of recreational demand, such as footpaths, national and other well used trails, circular paths and big tourist areas and cycle routes". (ALG Chief Executives' circular, 18/01, 11 April 2001.)

  3.  The ALG surveyed 12 London boroughs believed by MAFF to be most at risk from foot and mouth: Barnet, Bexley, Bromley, Croydon, Enfield, Kingston-upon-Thames, Havering, Hillingdon, Merton, Newham, Sutton and Richmond-upon-Thames, to assess the impact of the disease, in particular what measures had been taken to control the spread of the disease such as closing footpaths. The Association also asked those boroughs most affected what information they had provided to members of the public about the effect on tourist attractions.

  4.  The survey identified a number of facilities, such as footpaths, that had been closed. The decisions to close these had been made during the early stages of the outbreak. Four boroughs, Enfield, Havering, Sutton and Hillingdon, closed most of their footpaths. Only one borough, Barnet, closed all land and footpaths. The other seven boroughs surveyed had closed some of their footpaths and facilities. Boroughs that wished to keep their public footpaths and zoo areas closed intended to keep the position under constant review.

  5.  London boroughs have reacted positively to suggestions to re-open facilities wherever possible. At the time of writing many footpaths and parks had been re-opened. However, a number of tourist attractions remain closed. For example, Newham City Farm and Plashet Zoo in Newham and a limited number of footpaths located adjacent to restricted areas.

  The most affected boroughs have also placed information on their web sites. These include: Newham, Croydon, Sutton, Richmond-upon-Thames, Kingston, Hillingdon and Barnet. Their web sites provide up to date information on what facilities are open and closed and what other precautionary measures have been taken to control the spread of the disease in the boroughs. The situation is changing daily and boroughs are continually updating their web sites to keep the public informed.

  6.  The London Tourist Board, which the ALG part funds through the London Boroughs Grants Committee (£241,000 in 2000-01), has been working closely with the boroughs and the ALG to ascertain the extent of the problem and to identify measures to overcome them. The additional resources paid to the Regional Tourist Boards by the English Tourism Council will help this work.

  7.  The ALG has been working closely with the Government Office for London, responding to requests for information and keeping them updated on the position in the boroughs. The Association has a good working relationship with GOL, which is reflected in their request to the ALG for information about the situation in the boroughs.

April 2001

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