Ken Livingstone rolled up his sleeves and donned his wellies in Thamesmead today, Wednesday 6 April, to take part in a canal clean-up organised by environmental charity, Thames21.
The mayoral candidate joined Thames21, Erith and Thamesmead MP Teresa Pearce, local community development agency and registered charity Trust Thamesmead and other volunteers, including pupils from Windrush Primary School and residents to clean Harrow Canal as part of its long running Thamesmead Project, sponsored by Team Gallions.
The project aims to improve the environmental quality, biodiversity and amenity of Thamesmead's canal and lakes network, through direct community engagement.
Meeting outside Arnott Community Centre in Arnott Close and working their way along Harrow Canal to Heron Court, the team collected lots of rubbish in the two hour clean up.
Thames21 CEO Debbie Leach said: “The Thamesmead project has had great success since it was launched five years ago and was adopted by the community.
“It has essentially spread by word of mouth to become a highly effective and engaging programme, directly involving local people in the improvement of Thamesmead's waterways, which are far too often overlooked.
“It is fantastic to have Ken Livingstone come and see the project first-hand.”
Trust Thamesmead's Head of Community Development, David Stone said: “Trust Thamesmead is proud to support Thames21 in taking part in monthly canal clean-ups, as part or the Trust's volunteering policy.
“The clean-ups are vital not only for the health and well being of local wildlife but to make the area look more aesthetically pleasing and a place where people want to live and explore. We really want residents to get involved and take ownership and feel pride in their local area and most of all, enjoy it.”
Ken Livingstone said: “London's rivers, canals and lakes make our city a better place to live in and we need to keep them clean so that they can be enjoyed by everyone.
“There are hundreds of community groups, charities and groups of volunteers who go out regularly across London to clean up our green spaces and waterways. I believe their work should be recognised and supported.
“Over the coming year I will be considering how City Hall can do more to support volunteering by meeting groups like Thames21 and Trust Thamesmead across the capital.”
Erith and Thamesmead MP, Teresa Pearce said, “I'm pleased that Ken has rolled his sleeves up today and joined Thamesmead residents to help clean up Heron Court canal today.
“Keeping our communities clean and litter-free is vital. I believe my constituents should be able to enjoy the parks and green spaces in Erith and Thamesmead that are free of litter, graffiti and pollution.”
To attend a canal clean up or for more information, contact Solomon Small, E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: 07826 913261.