March 10 2014 Latest news:
by Nathalie Raffray and
Sunday, January 12, 2014
Plans to treble concert days in Finsbury Park will go ahead despite a last ditch attempt to block the proposals.
Haringey Council’s decision to up the number of days major events are allowed in the park – which was given the green light at cabinet in December – was put before its overview and scrutiny committee on Monday evening.
The previous policy only allowed five concert days but the new one will allow five major events of one to three days every year, although none will be allowed to take place during school holidays.
Residents and opposition councillors had hoped to get the committee to reconsider the decision, but only managed to get one concession – that a new “stakeholders committee” would be created, giving residents a say on all events which take place there in the future.
Cllr Paul Convery, who is strongly against the increase in concerts, said that Islington Council would now sit down with Haringey to minimise the disruption caused.
He said: “It’s disappointing but we’re not in the business of getting involved with the internal decisions of Haringey Council.
“We have however had a dialogue with them throughout the process and the leader sent a letter to them last week.
“We are seeking a number of assurances from them, including everything from making sure there are no clashes with concerts at the Emirates to improving facilities at the park.”
Haringey councillor Stuart McNamara acknowledged that many lessons needed to be learnt from past concerts.
He said: “Rather than reject people, we got to the heart of what the concerns were to make the concerts better.
“We rejected sending the policy back because the council needs to raise money because our budget has been slashed literally to the bone.
“We’re struggling the find the money to run basic services.
“The parks, if possible, need to generate more money.”
His concerns over stretched budgets have been echoed by Haringey Council leader Claire Kober in the past.
Cllr Kober has reassured residents consistently that the council was “committed to better licensing and enforcement to minimise disruption from events”.