Following our earlier post (below) about the proposed massive music events in Brockwell Park next summer, we wrote to our two Labour councillors expressing serious concern.
Jim Dickson replied promptly. His response reads as follows:
“Thank you for getting in touch and for putting forward your views as part of the consultation, held much earlier in the process than previously under our new Events Strategy so that we ensure stakeholder feedback is incorporated much earlier on. It is vitally important that residents able to feed back and play an active role in the conversation around events in parks and how Lambeth maximises its cultural offer to its residents.
Our parks and open spaces have been, and continue to be, a lifeline for people during lockdown and they are hugely important for the health and wellbeing of our residents. I am hugely proud of our parks team, volunteers and friends groups and others who have played their part in Lambeth’s parks being voted the best in London as per the recently published Good Parks for London report. We take our role enormously seriously as the custodians of these great public amenities, not just in terms of protecting the ecology within the park but enhancing it as we rise to meet the necessary challenges facing us in terms of the climate and ecological emergency. I am proud that this was also reflected in the Good Parks for London report, where Lambeth was only one of two London boroughs to score in the highest category on ‘sustainability’ as well as also doing the same in the ‘supporting nature’ category. We wouldn’t do anything that put at risk the precious ecology of our green spaces.
Sadly the financial pressures that the council faces due to the government reneging on its promise to not leave councils to pick up the bill for the coronavirus pandemic and this means that we do have to ensure that we bring income in across the board so that we are able to continue to spend on our at-risk young people, on care for our older residents or on our award-winning parks and open spaces.
I am pleased to say however that the event organisers for the coming summer event are changing their application so that the events will only run for 1 weekend rather than the 2 originally proposed. In other words the application is similar in pretty much all respects to that for the events which ran successfully in 2019. The change means the events will therefore set up and pack down in shorter time than in the original application and there will be fewer days when parts of the park can’t be used. That is an outcome I support.”