LETTER PUBLISHED IN ISLINGTON TRIBUNE : Six foot fences and funfair din mean park is no paradise

Val Hammond’s letter to the local press was linked in the DEPAVE item below via Meg Howarth’s comment, and I thought it should be given greater prominence, so it is copied below. The use of park space for large commercial events is seen as a money-provider by cash-strapped councils, and the same use, noise, fencing off, and general knackeration of a public park is happening in Finsbury Park. Here the Friends of Finsbury Park lost their high court case to stop Haringey Council from allowing the Wireless festival/concert to take over 27% of the park when the rules say that such events can only cover 10% of a public park. I have not been able to find out why Mr Justice Supperstone ruled in favour of Haringey Council and Wireless. Money is talking to the Councils over the opportunity of residents to peaceful enjoyment of their parks and gardens at the hottest times of the year..

Letter to the Islington Tribune:
Published: 29 July, 2016

• FOR the second time in just over a month, another 10-day funfair has rolled in to Paradise Park. The previous occupation left large areas of ground stripped of grass, with deep tyre ruts in the exposed soil – the result of rides and machinery in operation, and of heavy vehicles entering and exiting this green space adjacent to Freightliners City Farm.

June’s fair was to have been held in Caledonian Park but was relocated at short notice – apparently to avoid further upsetting residents engaged in a long-running campaign against the building of a visitors’ centre.

Despite the council’s determination to push it through, the widely-unpopular scheme is currently in doubt, so a bit of “softly, softly” by the Town Hall wouldn’t come amiss (Funding decision on visitors’ centre is delayed, July 15).

Now, Paradise Park is ringed with 6ft-high fencing enclosing the latest heavy-duty funfair paraphernalia. There’s hardly any grass for residents – many of whom don’t have gardens – to sit on and enjoy the summer outdoors.

Reverberating like an overhead helicopter, the generators powering the rides are so loud that neighbours can’t comfortably leave open their windows. The park is ringed by residential housing and an elderly people’s home.

Residents had no prior warning about either fair – while the operator of the current one wasn’t told about the previous one. No wonder they’re reporting poor entry sales that are barely covering the cost of running the rides. Like the June fair, which made little profit, the same is likely to be the case with the current one.

What has Councillor Claudia Webbe, executive member for the environment, got to say about the failure to consult residents, and the foreseeable noise disturbance and nuisance they’re enduring?

Why did she permit a second fair on an already damaged site in one of the borough’s popular green spaces? Is the smoke from the Highbury Fields barbecues blinding Cllr Webbe to what’s going on elsewhere in the borough – or is she distracted by national political events?

VAL HAMMOND
Crossley Street, N7

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