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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

The Friends of Finsbury Park have their AGM this evening at 7pm in the Finsbury Park Trust Offices on Seven Sisters Road. "Everyone is welcome"

They've been given leave to appeal the outcome of their failed legal action to ban large scale events in London's parks. Sadly it seems they are still pressing ahead with their campaign to remove Finsbury Park's main source of income, send the park into decline and put a stop to events enjoyed by thousands of Londoners.

In their little post-truth echo chamber they continue to repeat concerns about damage to the park and security issues, neither of which were significant problems during last summer's events. They say the park will be just fine without the major events income, a belief which is backed by neither evidence nor common sense at a time when council services are being severely cut.

Here's Martin in a news clip on the subject. The FoFP was set up to promote the interests of the park and all of its users, but still appears to be prioritising the concerns of a handful of local residents:


Tags for Forum Posts: finsbury park, finsbury park events, friends of finsbury park

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In the spirit of post truth I would liken them more to a fake organisation that seeks to actively undermine its publicly stated mission. A sort of London festival planners front group.

Not sure that your comment over all makes sense, but certainly the first part is not true.  There's nothing fake about the Friends of Finsbury Park and they have done great work over the years with the Council and on their own to bring about improvements to the park.  Personally I appreciate all the work they have put in and I also appreciate the legal challenge to what is basically the privatisation of a public open space and which does cause lasting damage.  

Huge festivals close off use of the park to local residents and also cause lasting damage.  Some of the visible damage gets repaired - although plenty is still visible months after the event, however there is also long term damage to trees as a result of large vehicles driving underneath them which compacts the soil - meaning it is harder for them to get water and nutrients.  

Also any residents nearby have to put up with loud music whether they enjoy it or not.  In any other circumstance that would be called anti social behaviour.  I live half a mile away and I can hear it from my flat so I pity people who live nearer. The fact it is for profit does not make it suddenly ok.

I hope the Friends succeed in their legal challenge.

I wouldn't claim to speak on behalf of everyone, but I am aware that there are plenty of people who do live close to the park who can't bear the noise.  Great that you don't mind it, but does that mean other people who don't like it should have to put up with it?  The Council recently publicised a case where they got a criminal anti social behaviour order against a resident who under the terms of the order cannot play amplified music outside.  So why is it considered ok when it's done by a company to make money?  The reality is that it is anti social to force other people to listen to music when they don't want to.

As for long term damage to the park, last time I visited there were still visible bare patches in some of the re-seeded areas - and these areas can't be used for usual purposes while the grass is recovering either.  Plus there is also permanent damage to some of the pavements from the metal tracks that were laid down.  

But I also suggest you try looking up the impact on trees of ground compaction.  It's not always immediately visible, but it can cause death and stunting of trees.  Here's a basic explanation but there are plenty of others should you care to look.  During the last major music event I saw lots of lorries and other vehicles parked or driving over areas underneath tree canopies where there will be tree roots below.  In fact the roots often extend further than the canopy.  Check out this document produced by the arboricultural association in the UK, especially section 16.

The Wireless Festival runs until 10.30pm. The terms of your publicised case are that they can't play music after 10pm. Seems pretty consistent to me.

I don't object to the use of the park for concerts generally - but I think Wireless is too big and they take over the park for too long.  Dominating the park for 2 weeks is a big chunk of the summer. They should be told to get in and out more quickly.  

It's sort of nice to put a face to the name of the group in one regard. I must commend them on the energy they've got for this campaign even if I don't agree at all with them.

I definitely can't agree with his comments that festivals bring about 'rough sleeping, anti-social behaviour, drug taking and litter in the streets' as that's Finsbury Park every day of the week.

Set against an expansive and empty park, I couldn't resist a wry smile at one of Martin Ball's introductory comments in the piece that Tris links to:

Having said that, I'm not sure we should resent the group their day in court. It's something they feel passionately about and they have a right to a fair hearing. The courts may not always get it right, but they probably do so more often than not. Whatever you think of the concerts/no-concerts issue, it is wholly appropriate for local residents to challenge the limits of a local council's power. I suspect that events in the US are going to give many of us good reason to feel very warmly towards them. If you count yourself amongst that number, then you gotta take the rough with the smooth.

I think those changes are a given with running any large scale event a second time. The council and promoters could work all these things out quite happily on their own.

Establishing the legitimacy of a local community group is a tough one. Most residents assocs are poorly supported. So there every chance that the support of this group is as broad as that in any of the local RAs.

I thought the comment was with reference to the surrounding streets and pavements which are frequently clogged.  But anyway, if you go to the park on a hot summers afternoon it is also often heaving with the number of people picnicking, playing sport, relaxing and children playing, and it's usually most densely packed in the very area that gets fenced off for exclusive use by the music events.  Good luck to Martin and the others involved in trying to keep the park open to us all.

Alex, I do hope you're not missing the point of my post. I expressly used the phrase 'wry smile' to indicate that I was referring to the irony inherent in the comment being made in a particular place at a particular time. I then went on to fully defend the right of the group to take their case to court. I do hope you're not missing the point.

So, go ahead, Billy, offer a definition that works for you of who or which group has, in your opinion, the right to challenge the Council in court.

For my part, I'll quote Lord Neuberger, President of the Supreme Court in the UK, speaking in 2013:

The rule of law requires that any persons with a bona fide reasonable legal claim must have an effective means of having that claim considered, and, if it is justified, being satisfied, and that any persons facing a claim must have an effective means of defending themselves. And the rule of law also requires that, save to the extent that it would involve a denial of justice, the determination of any such claim is carried out in public. So citizens must have access to the courts to have their claims, and their defences, determined by judges in public according to the law …

An then there's Article 47 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights:

Everyone whose rights and freedoms guaranteed by the law of the Union are violated has the right to an effective remedy before a tribunal in compliance with the conditions laid down in this Article.

Everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal previously established by law. Everyone shall have the possibility of being advised, defended and represented.



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