Queen’s Park to create London’s first parish council in almost 50 years

Westminster town hall bosses rubber stamped the plans at a general meeting

London’s first parish council for almost 50 years will be created in Queens Park after council chiefs officially rubber stamped the plans.

The scheme was granted permission at a general meeting of Westminster Council yesterday evening (Monday).

The Parish Council should be established in early 2014 and will undertake responsibility for a range of activities including coordinating community events, supporting young people and management of gardens including launching allotments.

The green light was the final hurdle following a referendum last month where 1,100 residents voted for a parish council with 508 voting against.

Susanna Rustin, Queen’s Park resident and Green Party activist, said the community were ‘thrilled’ with the outcome.

She said: “It’s hugely exciting to be granted this in what is a really challenging time, and to become the first area to be granted this is great.

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“Hopefully we can set an encouraging example that this is the way forward and we can now show what residents are able to achieve.”

Parish Councils were initially abolished in London in 1963 when they made way for the Greater London Council. However, a 2007 law restored the power for London boroughs to establish them if they wished.

Cllr Robert Davis, deputy leader for Westminster City Council, said: “The establishment of the Queen’s Park community council will mark the start of a brand new era in localism.

“As local authorities, we must work with our residents, community groups and businesses to help them effectively represent their areas and get involved in the delivery of services. I am proud that Westminster Council will once again be leading with another important first.”