This time, not even a project of his predecessor. Yesterday, the Royal Parks Foundation and the Tiffany & Co Foundation launched a joint project to restore the drinking fountains in London’s Royal Parks, build a new fountain and restore the Italian Gardens in Kensington Gardens.

Boris Johnson bounded in to launch the US/UK initiative and announced an open international competition, in partnership with RIBA, the challenge is to create a well-designed drinking fountain to replace the older Parks’ fountains which cannot be restored (bear in mind many of these were installed in Victorian or Edwardian times). The winning designer will see their work turned into reality in the Parks, with the hope that the design will eventually be adopted in other green spaces around the world.

I bet he did, the spring in his step enhanced by the fact that he was using the event to claim the glory for the project, despite having nothing whatsoever to do with it. The Royal Parks are an executive agency of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and not under the control of the Mayor of London (although I have no doubt that he’s currently lobbying his mate Dave to get his hands on them).

More than two years ago, the Mayor declared that he was investigating the installation of public drinking water fountains in parks and public spaces across London. In September last year, it emerged that no money had been allocated for the project.

When the first new drinking fountain in Hyde Park for 30 years was unveiled last year, it was erroneously assumed that the Mayor was responsible for it – he was not.  The Mayor has managed, so far, to restore the sum total of one existing water fountain and install no new ones.

 
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