I guess you know, Hugh, Emine and I have been a surreptitious item for quite some time? Not a word, please. LDs are keeping an eye on us.
THE Stakeholder Group was set up by the Council as compensation to the public for the Cabinet Concerts policy.
I wonder if there is anything that the Council can learn from the recent experience of Arsenal and Islington?
It was recently reported that Arsenal lost their High Court battle over a curb on the number of concerts that can be held at the Emirates Stadium.
If we make the following substitutions:
I think there are some parallels ... except our Council doesn't seem to be on the same side.
Arsenal lose concert battle with Islington Council (Islington Gazette)
Martin Ball, the Chair of Friends of Down Lane Park Group has been battling on the issue of overuse of this small park for commercial lettings. Clive, you can view some of his photos his Twitter account
Where you and I diverge on this, Clive, is because you are ever ready to - justly - challenge the Council for having either too many events in your local Finsbury Park, or perhaps not charging enough. But I can't remember you getting equally angry and critical about the Government's cuts on local councils which put enormous pressures on all councils - whichever party is in control - to maximise income from commercial lettings. Including in parks.
Your point about Arsenal and its concerts is apt. It has been my fear ever since Tottenham Hotspur's billboards promised a "365 days a year" stadium. Planning officers and councillors who don't live in the area babble on about sport and leisure-based regeneration; and the “night-time economy”. But of course, few if any of them them choose to have these “benefits” in the streets close to their own homes.
By coincidence, I happened to see Martin's telling photos last night. Martin is a park champion and good for him. One of my thoughts were that I hope the Green Flag gongs are not being awarded in an habitual way and regardless of the conduct of the recipient. Recent conduct in Finsbury Park suggests a Brown Flag might be more in order. Park defenders may have to organise their own, more realistic scheme.
(incidentally, perhaps the only park in our Borough not being sweated in these way is the one that forms part of our Charitable Trust on the hill. It is beyond the direct control of LBH, even though Haringey Council is Trustee).
I don't oppose all events in Finsbury Park, but the new Cabinet Concerts policy has gone too far, with multiple mega-concerts to come next year. Given the policy, I doubt the charging is enough, but the whole policy is just too exploitative of our public parks and too far from their original purpose. The part-privatisation is not cost-free to the public benefit.
I would join a discussion about Government cuts - on a separate, dedicated thread.
The majority group on Haringey and Islington Councils have the same political complexion, yet when comparing the two, our own seems to have a significantly inferior sense of decency, public responsibility and getting the balance right. A good example is the way the Council set up and controls the Finsbury Park Strategy/Stakeholder Group.
THE Finsbury Park Event Stakeholder Group has not met since July 2015.
That meeting, that I attended, was halted abruptly with no further discussion to be had. Two members of the public present—neither of whom had experienced a Council-controlled Stakeholder meeting before—were surprised at the conduct of that meeting.
One of those two members of the public now Chairs the Friends of Finsbury Park.
In October 2015, one of the conclusions of the Council Scrutiny Review into Finsbury Park Events, was that there needed to be two Stakeholder Groups. Given the multiple issues with the first group, the logic of a dual arrangement wasn't obvious (please see link below).
Both groups* exist on paper, but to the best of my knowledge, neither group has ever met.
More recently, a Council Officer told a meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee that they'd been unable to find a Chair.
In other words, no Councillor from either Harringay or Stroud Green Ward is eager to grasp such a poisonous chalice. By and large, Councillors wish to be re-elected.--
*Scrutiny Review of Finsbury Park Events: Appendix 2 Recommendations
The No.1 recommendation is for the Council's Communications Team to develop a Communication Plan (i.e. more PR)
I attended four enthralling meetings in the past week. My friend and counsellor (sic) who, like me, is also a candidate for the World Government gig in May spoke up in her quiet and concise fashion at all the meetings. We thought we should share her inscrutable thoughts with a wider audience; we hope that you will discuss these four points thoroughly over the coming seven weeks without any point scoring. It would be disingenuous of us to think these discussions will solve Finsbury Park's noise pollution problems - but we thought you might like to know that we attend all sorts of scrutiny meetings on your behalf, so please keep that in mind as you enter the polling booth 50 days hence
Anna - congratulations - I have read your post five times and still have absolutely no idea what you are talking about...
Robin2, I have previously questioned the openness and transparency of the Stakeholder Group. This was what the council proposed for the future of the FP Event Stakeholder Group (AKA, FP Strategy Group):
To help manage the competing needs and opinions of different stakeholders, including those from neighbouring boroughs, the Cabinet Member for Environment is recommended to review the terms of reference for the Finsbury Park Events Stakeholder Group. This should be completed before the end of December 2015 with consideration given to:
(a) Setting up two distinct groups – one for local residents and one for local businesses – to ensure feedback from both is used to help with event planning and to address local concerns around major events.
(b) A ward councillor from Harringay or Stroud Green being nominated as the Chair.
(c) Ensuring fair representation from all the groups participating.
One thing I've noticed is that Council has—similar to Ally Pally—a proprietorial attitude to Finsbury Park. A member of the public was told by an officer that, we own it and we can do what we like with it. You won't hear that language from the Council's big Communications Team (or, as I think of it, The Department of Truth).
In my opinion, the (Council-controlled) Event Stakeholder Group has been a failure. I don't think it's likely to reconvene.