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Lambeth is blooming marvellous

Clapham Common has been named the best common in London at the annual London In Bloom awards.

It won first place in the Commons Award category, while overall the borough won a Silver award for the quality of its parks and green spaces.

The judges were impressed by recent improvements to the Common including work to improve the biodiversity of its ponds, as well as improvements to the bandstand, and engagement with the community.

Overall Lambeth received a Silver award, with the borough’s parks scoring highly in terms of environmental quality such as litter, graffiti and dog fouling.

The judges said: “The Borough has a good standard of cleanliness and maintenance throughout the busy roads and heavily used parks, open spaces and common land.

“The Parks Team is very positive in its approach to the service and with an increasing community involvement being generated by council officers relating to people’s needs and aspirations.

“Despite the nature of this very busy borough it was obvious that a huge effort had been made in creating a litter free environment with very little graffiti.”

The judges were also impressed with the way numerous community and parks friends groups across the borough are involved in the running of parks alongside the council, adding: “There was a good deal of enthusiasm from all levels of staff and also by a large number of volunteers.”

The judges recommended that more horticulture training should be offered to volunteers who help out in parks to make sure the groups ‘achieve their potential’.

Cllr Florence Nosegbe, Lambeth Council Cabinet Member for Culture, said: “Lambeth’s parks and green spaces have improved tremendously over the past few years and these awards are a fantastic recognition of the huge effort that has been made to make our green spaces welcoming, attractive and popular with local people.

“What has really made the difference is the commitment of local residents who form the numerous parks friends groups in Lambeth, and who work side by side with council officers.

“The country is facing tough economic times but I’m confident that with the support of our growing number of volunteers and our contractor Veolia, our parks will continue to improve in the future. The involvement of the community in running parks is a real model of what we mean by making Lambeth a ‘Cooperative borough.”

Robert Seear, Veolia’s senior contracts manager, said: “It is a testament to the continuous hard work of our landscaping team that we have achieved these two awards. I am very proud of the team and I hope that Lambeth residents can see the efforts we have put in to help make the borough beautiful.”

London in Bloom promotes, supports and encourages gardening, horticulture and environmental sustainability across the 31 boroughs and two cities of Greater London.

Entries are invited annually from local authorities, parks and friends of parks groups, community groups and schools across the region who wish to improve their local environment.

See http://www.londoninbloom.co.uk

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