Pledge to keep Brockwell Park events sustainable and proportionate
0 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000.
We don't want to stop gigs in Brockwell Park, but we do want to make sure they are sustainable and suitable for the space.
Large ticketed events (up to 45,000 people per day) close the Park off for locals, cause huge issues with traffic and noise, and damage Park wildlife. Local businesses say they lose money, as residents stay away and visitors don't spend.
If you live locally and love Brockwell Park sign this pledge to protect the space and get your voice heard:
1/ I will not vote for any councillor or MP who does not actively campaign to keep Brockwell Park events sustainable
2/ I will try to attend consultation meetings with event organisers to ensure local views are represented
3/ I will help reduce damage to the local economy by shopping with local businesses on event days as much as possible
- Lambeth council
Dear Councillor XXXXX,
We are writing to you on behalf of BrockwellStreets.org and all one thousand five hundred and forty locals that have so far signed a Pledge to protect Brockwell Park and the surrounding community from the massive private events being proposed by Lambeth Council.
We know that local politicians are taking time to listen to what ward constituents have to say on this issue. However, Field Day have already circulated letters saying their event is going ahead. Lovebox are selling tickets. Residents are now looking to our representatives to do more than listen. We want to know whether or not they will speak up for us, and for this much loved local green space.
Everyone understands that the council is in need of funds. But allowing this vital resource - one that is so integral to local health, education, and the economy - to be degraded and impaired to such an extent cannot be an acceptable solution. Other means simply have to be found.
Overleaf you will find a copy of the full Pledge we have all signed. Perhaps the part that will catch your eye most is the statement that none of us will vote for a councillor or MP that does not actively campaign to keep Brockwell Park events sustainable and proportionate.
Amongst one thousand five hundred and forty people (and counting) there are, of course, variations in opinion on what is ‘proportionate’. Some believe no private events should be allowed in public spaces, some that a modest number of a manageable size are OK. But all of us are looking for candidates to commit to three principles as a minimum:
1/ Telling Lambeth Council Lovebox and FieldDay cannot take place in Brockwell Park.
These events are not suitable for a park as small as Brockwell, nor one in such a densely populated area. Even the revised figures that have been mentioned are too large. The council stresses the financial gain, but fails to adequately allow for the monumental loss to culture, community and wellbeing that will befall locals barred from their own Park.
Nor do the figures allow for the significant loss of business suffered by local shops when these types of events take place. No-readmission policies and an embargo on taking in anything but one sealed bottle of water undermine claims visitors will spend locally.
“We rely on people going to and from Brockwell for custom. If people are put off going to the Park for so much of the summer - because of fenced off festivals and feeling more like a building site than an open space - they won’t spend time or money here. Independent businesses like ours will suffer.”
Cas, The Parlour Cafe
The number of days and size of area occupied are big concerns. But the nature and reputation of these events is also an issue. There are online chatrooms dedicated to how to get drugs into Lovebox. Crime in Victoria Park rose by155% while it was on.
“Summers have become a misery for families. The huge increase in crime when these events are held shows the impact on people’s lives.”
Cllr Joshua Peck, Tower Hamlets on Lovebox’s contract being cancelled
These events are a bad fit with our area and the risk to the fabric of the Park, the community and the economy is too great.
2/ Scraping the Events2020 policy plan.
This crass policy takes no account of the varied sizes, typographies and locations of Lambeth’s parks, instead planning events on a one-size-fits-all basis. Brockwell, for example, is hilly with many trees, has no area where large fenced events can be hosted without cutting the Park in half, and entrances are all in residential areas. Regardless of the square footage (which isn’t that big) it is clearly unsuitable for fenced events of 20,000.
Plus, the policy includes no serious requirements for community involvement - whether that is locals not being fenced out, using local food and beverage suppliers, or giving a platform to local artists. There are no meaningful ecology or sustainability requirements. There are no limits on set-up time, meaning a 3 day event can apply to takeover the Park for more than 3 weeks.
No policy that allowed what has been proposed to even be considered is fit for purpose. It needs to be replaced with one that lays down site-specific caps on event capacity and sets a standard for how private companies wanting to make use of public resources should act.
3/ A clear and funded process for consultation with residents on events.
In this instance Lambeth have worked with the Brockwell Park Community Partners to informally field views from park users. The BPCPs were given no support, have no communications training or access to the skills needed to reach large numbers of people quickly. Yet by having the BPCP as consultation partner, Lambeth obfuscated responsibility for publicising information themselves.
The decision to consult local residents via the BPCP was, effectively, a decision not to consult. Lambeth’s argument it was covered by the Culture 2020 consultation cuts no ice when you consider that in a couple of weeks a few volunteer locals have managed to get almost as many responses as the 2020 consultation took months to gather across the whole borough.
A formal process for consultation on individual large and major events in the Park needs to be drawn up as a matter of urgency. It needs to include letters sent to all adjacent residents, notices in the Park and a dedicated online hub for all documentation. This must happen at consideration not licensing stage. Lambeth must listen to the outcome.
Any councillor or candidate in favour of what we have outlined can let us know and we will highlight their decision to speak-up for their local community to everyone that has signed the Pledge. We are a non-partisan organisation and will share your position without bias. Our aim is to allow Brockwell Park locals to make an informed decision at the ballot box. We appreciate that in such a large borough our numbers may seem small, but that so many have acted so quickly will hopefully give a sense of the strength of feeling around this issue.
We have sent this letter to all councillors whose wards adjoin the Park, the two local MPs, candidates or local party leaders for parties that got >3% of the vote in the last local elections.
In addition to the Pledge, at the back of this letter you will find a selection of the many hundreds of comments people submitted when signing and interim results of a survey of residents living close to Brockwell Park to assess awareness of the Events2020 plan.
We look forward to hearing your position.
All the best,
The BrockwellStreets.org Team and 1540 Brockwell Locals
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