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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

I while back I did an FOI request regarding Revenue made from Finsbury park and how the money is invested.

Here is the response


Re: Freedom of Information Act Request ref: LBH/4225715

Thank you for your request for information received on 22 April 2015, in
which you asked for the following information:

My response is as follows:

Could you please tell me how much money was LB Haringey made from hiring
out Finsbury Park for concerts and Fun fairs in 2014? £845k.

Could you please tell me how much is the annul budget for Finsbury Park?
We do not budget for Finsbury Park separately, it is contained within the
budget for the whole of the west of the borough.

Could you please tell me how many litter pickers work at the park full
time? 1.5 full time equivalent.

Could you please tell me how much revenue was made when fining people for
having illegal barbecues in the park? None

To be honest I'm kicking myself regarding the crap questions I asked. If anyone has any better questions regarding the park please let me know and I'll resubmit another request.  Also how can you split a full time job into 1.5?

Tags for Forum Posts: finsbury park

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hi Ben, ultimately it depends on what you are trying to find out. 

I assume you would like to find out more about how much of the income generated by events is actually invested in the park?What is extra to what should normally be budgeted?

So a useful way of asking is being as specific as possible:

  • 2014? This could be calendar or financial year.It could be useful to ask about income over the last 3 financial years. Even for the coming year(15/16) as contracts will have been signed. This can help give a comparison (and show increase?).
  • Also ask for income for each/all events in each of those years-they could be more than music and funfairs?  I understand that the Council claims that all income is reinvested in the park?Is this instead of what budget is needed to run the park or a "bonus"- extra money -so what projects/works are funded?
  • You could then ask about the budget for the west of the borough p.a. to see how that compares with the income against those years and how much was spent on each park in that area. You could then ask for confirmation there is local authority commitment to reinvest all the event income into the park, for what and if so why isn't the budget recorded separately? If its not then how can the Council demonstrate that income is being reinvested in a specific park - in addition  rather than replacement for a budget that that would have to be found whether events provide income or not?
  • 1.5 = effectively this is 1 full-time , 1 part-time. The answer you have been given probably refers to the "normal" staffing level through the year?  Here i presume you want to know more about how rubbish from events is dealt with? Do contracts require events to tidy up and pay for clearance in addition to the fee they pay ? In theory they should. If not what are the costs to the Council? If they are , what are the penalties and have they been used?Its worth asking are the 1.5  staff paid for by event income? If so these not really "extra" (the park would need day-to-day cleaning regardless).The damage to the park is going to be far more significant than if the events do not take place- does the income fully reflect those costs?

hope this helps


Ben, dm's advice looks good. I would ask for data in the financial year.

I would however, ask for income broken down by kind of event (e.g. film & TV hire, etc.) rather than by individual gigs. Otherwise they'll cite "commercial confidentiality" as a reason to refuse.

I understand that the Council claims that all income is reinvested in the park? Is this instead of what budget is needed to run the park or a "bonus"- extra money -so what projects/works are funded?

This can be known as ringfencing, as in, income Y from X is ringfenced to be spent on Z.

When I hear this phrase, I think of No. 8 Fencing Wire

It's great for holding sheep in a paddock, but it's not so good at containing fog or mist. Unless a particular income is additional (to a pre-existing budget), then ring-fenced money can simply displace other monies. Whether as much as£845k is being spent on our park in any event – ring-fenced or not – is another matter.

I imagine the Parks department have a separate budget.

If they do not budget for Finsbury Park separately how can they show that all revenue is reinvested in Finsbury Park and not other parks or other services?

Thanks all for your advice. Fell free to add some questions. I'm a bit freaked out by the whole 845 k that's a lot of money made from the park that appears not to have been significantly reinvested back into it.

Ben, I hope you can come along to a general meeting of the Friends of Finsbury Park on Tuesday 2nd June from 7-9pm.

The venue is the Finsbury Park Trust offices on 225-229 Seven Sisters Road, N4 2DA.

Among other things there will be an interactive, facilitated workshop on how to improve the park.

There will also be an update and discussion of the Council's large events policy and the forthcoming Wireless Festival in the park … and what we can do to step up our campaign against their policy.

New (and existing) members welcome.

Thanks Clive. I'll try to make it.

I'd worry that the money would be re-invested to prepare the park permanently for concerts and large events. Changes in the concrete areas (roads, paths etc) trees and plants excluded from certain areas and things like that. I once went on a walk-about when the Mean Fiddler were setting up for a concert, I had my dog with me. She suddenly stopped and showed great interest in a certain patch of grass. On closer examination we were able to pull up a sod of grass underneath which was some loose soil covering a recently sawn down young tree. It just happened to be in the exact spot where their fence would be. They were also known to saw off the lower branches of nearby tree in case people climbed them and were able to see the concerts for free. Small but subtle changes are happening, this money could be used to fund these changes on a permanent basis.

I didn't know that Madeline.

Most in the FoFP don't have a problem with events as such. We do have a problem with events of the size of those coming up in the next few weeks that will have a big impact on the park and on neigbouring residents.

The licence now permits gigs of up to 49,999 attendees. For a few days, life for those on the east side of the park is made miserable to the extent that some decamp. One Hackney resident has made an offer to the Lead Member responsible for parks, do a house swap for the duration.

Rather than being recognised as a community asset, our park is now seen by the authorities as a liability that must be made to pay its own way. It is probably now doing that many times over.

Just to be clear, I am happy for the park to be used as a venue. I just wish a lot more of the revenue made went straight back into the park. 1.5 full time litter pickers us an effing joke.

You clearly don't live near the park or care about the severe disruption from big events and the impact they have on the lives of tens of thousands across all three boroughs that border the park. We don't seek to reduce income although that would be a natural consequence of reduced events. The demographic of the area has changed immeasurably and to our mind Finsbury Park is not a suitable venue for a three day festival sized event like Wireless. The asset that Haringey controls is being sweated for money without a care for the many who live close by. Please note, its residents of all three boroughs that are affected but the revenue only goes to Haringey. Perhaps the Park should be run by a Trust and taken out of Haringey's exclusive control.

Very good, then you don't get the piss, shit and puke in your front garden, maybe you don't have young kids that have their schooldays and park outings disrupted, you don't miss the loss of amenity, 60% of the park whilst all this is setup, used and taken down, you're not one of the Somali community down by Finsbury Park that talk of their families being terrorised during these events, I could go on. The Friends are completely aware that there will be people who like the events. My/our point is simple - we don't get a choice. And many more who live around the park are against than for.

And just so you know, the money isn't ring fenced in any more - it just means they don't have to dip into allocated budget.

Tris, you should come to a FoFP meeting. These guys have been working tirelessly to engage with the council for many years. Sadly it appears the council just don't want to play ball and are very much in the pockets of the promoters.



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