Lib Dem victory as funding secured for Southwark Park Athletics Track

Southwark Park Athletics Track is set to re-open after a petition by local Liberal Democrats to restore it to its former glory.

After falling into disrepair in recent years, funding has been announced to redevelop the site, including new changing rooms.Liberal Democrat politicians and campaigners have been running a petition to bring the track back into use

The news comes after pressure on the council from Southwark Liberal Democrats, who have urged them to "get on with the job". Lib Dem councillors from Rotherhithe and Riverside wards had been collecting petition signatures in the areas surrounding the park to show the strength of public feeling, and say local people want to see the track come back into use as soon as possible.

Southwark Liberal Democrats also put a motion to Council Assembly on the issue in November.

£2.8 million is needed to resurface the track and provide new changing rooms - £1 million of which was already allocated from sport-related funding including the Olympic Legacy Fund. Southwark Council has now announced it will plug the gap with another £1.7m of its own.

Commenting on the success, Councillor Wilma Nelson (Rotherhithe Ward) said:

"It is great news the council has finally agreed to plug the funding gap with its own cash after a hard-fought campaign by Liberal Democrat councillors, residents and athletics fans in Southwark."

"It's a shame Labour want to blame others for the track being out of use when they have had over three years to sort it out themselves. It is only because of the Liberal Democrat petition that they are now taking action."

"The council must now get on with the job and make it happen sooner rather than later. We will be pushing the council to say exactly when the work will happen and when the track will re-open."