Connecting Crouch End and Hornsey with news, views and information
MY representation to the Licensing Authority’s review of the License issued for Major Events at Finsbury Park is attached below as a pdf.
6 August update:
The Representation to the Review by the London Borough of Islington
two further attachments:
orange background = the original (text copyable and searchable)
white background = easier-to-read version (converted to images)
4 October update:
Islington Council's Additional Information
59 pages released under FoI request (here)
and attached in a separate post below …
RECENT correspondence about Haringey Council's major events policy (i.e. the Finsbury Park concerts), between Jeremy Corbyn MP and Councillor Joe Ejiofor, Leader of Haringey Council.
(attached below, as PDFs)
These are longish letters and having read them I carry in my head a general impression of what they say. My paraphrase is:
JC: The way these festivals are run is not good enough
JE: Yes it is, The crowd we get is young and diverse so there's bound to be a certain amount of shitting on doorsteps but we'll clean it up if you tell us about it.
JE also has the brass neck both to complain of 'limited resources' and to boast of £1.2m of income.
Mr Corbyn's comments are mild compared with the formal Representation (above) of the London Borough of Islington. Those comments—amongst the evidence of residents—amount to a scathing indictment of their neighbour's ability to properly manage the major events.
They are simply far too big and Haringey is incapable of managing them adequately. As the events are situated on the extreme southern tip of the Borough, most of the ASB, noise, crime, litter and traffic and transport disruption falls on other Boroughs’ residents.
It's a case of aggravation for the many [of Hackney & Islington], not the few [in Haringey].
A couple of days ago, the London Evening Standard (editor: George Osborne) picked up just half of this exchange of correspondence and attempts to link Corbyn's legitimate concerns about Finsbury, to the PLO and anti-Semitism:
LINK to my Freedom of Information request that seeks info. that Islington Council holds and describes as Additional Information and lists by way of three subheadings.
(please see page seven of their detailed Representation, above).
HACKNEY Borough is probably the London Borough worst affected by Haringey's Major Events policy and yet that Council appears to have failed to make a Representation.
Hackney residents in Seven Sisters Road and the streets running to the southeast bear the full force of Wireless.
These streets are in Hackney’s Brownswood Ward, where local Councillor Clare Potter has made a representation on behalf of residents (attached).
IT appears that a second Hackney Councillor made a Representation (Caroline Selman of Woodberry Down Ward). However Cllr Selman's Represenation is not yet identified and, pending correction, may not be a Council Representation in the same way as Islington's.
Islington's Representation was impressive in that it pulled no punches. It set out clearly what they think of Haringey's ability to manage enormous public events that impinge deeply on another Borough. It also discloses a certain amount of friction with Hackney, who seem to enjoy a slightly privileged status with Haringey (as if such a position is worth having).
The thinly veiled irritation with Haringey is clear enough. Unfortunately, Haringey is acting with greed, arrogance and selfishness over Finsbury Park. And this time, we have the formal Representation of a neighbouring Local Authority as evidence for it.
There's a report on Cllr Selman's representation in the Hackney Gazette (pic attached; it's probably online too). Indeed, it doesn't call for the event to be cancelled, but for changes to be made. The Gazette picks up on her call for ID checks.
I’M pleased to say that Cllr Selman's Representation is now to hand (attached). Although not a Representation exactly like Islington's, Caroline Selman's Representation is made in her capacity …
"both as a Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Policy and the Voluntary Sector and as an elected member for Woodberry Down ward.
The large-scale events over the last few years have been a major source of nuisance and distress for many Hackney residents in particular in relation to the three day Wireless event. The events also put a massive strain on Hackney Council services, including Enforcement, Environment Operations and Parking.
Consequently I am of the opinion that there are many elements of the premises licence that require detailed scrutiny and review … ”
Am I right in thinking that this review will be of the licence that appears on Haringey's licensing register as Wireless, Finsbury Park, Green Lanes, Hornsey, London LN/000012182 Issued 04/02/2014 00:00:00 Hornsey. And that the Licensing Authority which will review it will be the London Borough of Haringey? The same borough that takes its lead from Cllr Ejiofor. What assurance that the matter will be judged objectively?
Adrian, I guess so, there's no other Wireless listed. The timing is right too:
The Major Event policy of the previous Admin. was formulated towards the end of 2013 and it was Called-In by the Council Opposition Group in January 2014. I remember, because I was there (not a Councillor for another four months) and unusually, so was the Chief Executive. As with most Call-Ins, the Kober Administration took no notice, learned nothing and ploughed on. (The sop of a Stakeholder Group was offered. It has been a lightning rod for dissent, useless and toothless).
The Friends of Finsbury Park has lodged with the Licensing Authority, a request for a Review of the Licence and that has been accepted. That Review will be Heard by the Licensing Committee in mid-October.
One of the possible options is revocation.
The Committee comprises three serving, elected Haringey Councillors and it is they and they alone who make the decision, aided by a lawyer. I know what happens, as I was a Member of the Licensing Committee for four years. Decisions were discussed thoroughly.
The Committee discharges statutory functions. It is in effect part of the judicial system and if a party does not believe a Decision is fair and reasonable, it is open to them to Appeal to a Magistrates Court.
Wireless is an unusual Licence as the Council is a large beneficiary of its use by hiring out the park. That is of course the background and the elephant-in-the-room.
However, all parties must address themselves to the promotion of the four, statutory Licensing Objectives.
Has the Licensee upheld them?
Islington Council have suggested that, pending a deal with Haringey they could withdraw their Representation (the pdf in this thread, above) before the Hearing. However, if they do not withdraw, then their testimony would be powerful.
In my opinion, in this context, the Objectives mean the Licensee should not be able to bring up the rent paid to the council, nor any supposed "cultural" benefits, as neither of these are Licensing Objectives. It would be wrong and possibly unlawful for the Licensee to refer to these or any extraneous matters. I expect the Licensee to be on the defensive.
However, the potential for a conflict of interest remains.
HARINGEY COUNCIL’s current
Statement of Licensing Policy 2016–2021
PDF, c. 980kb