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When they say 'less events' they mean 'fewer events'

Summary of changes

This document has a full summary of proposed changes and the rationale behind the proposals ....

Have Your Say... Finsbury Park Events

Why we are consulting

We need to find new ways of managing events in Finsbury Park

Why? Less events, the result of competition from other venues, means we have less money to spend on maintaining and improving Finsbury Park and other parks in the borough.

The council has for the last 11 years been managing events in Finsbury Park based on a series of recommendations agreed by Cabinet on 3 December 2002 - see the attached files section below. These, however, are now out of date and not fit for purpose, so we want to update and create a new Outdoor Events Policy. This consultation sets out our draft proposals for the contents of a new policy together with the reasons for making them.

Finsbury Park has hosted a range of outdoor events since it opened in 1869. In a typical year around 20 events are held, as well as numerous smaller weekly sport, running and fitness activities.

Regular annual bookings include:

  • a fair on three occasions (at Easter, May half term and the last two weeks of August)
  • a circus (in March)
  • a charity fun run on twelve occasions
  • Newroz (Kurdish New Year in March)

Our current policy for running events in Finsbury Park was agreed by Cabinet in December 2002 prior to the multi-million pound restoration of the park which took place in partnership with the Heritage Lottery Fund. You can read a summary of the current policy (PDF, 30KB) here. The policy was originally introduced to generate an income to fund the increased cost of maintaining the park following these improvements.

However, a reduction in the number of large events in recent years has put significant pressure on the parks budget at a time when the council has faced an increasingly difficult financial climate. A large scale event is one with 10,000 or more people attending.

Reviewing our events policy for the Park is one way of ensuring we host a range of cultural events that can have significant local economic benefits - generating income that can be used to maintain Finsbury Park, fund community events and improve the infrastructure of other parks in Haringey.

Allowing more large events of a longer duration will allow the council to offer bookings to more than one event organiser. This is important because it allows the council to secure consistent sources of income and prevents it having to rely on any one event organiser.

In December Haringey’s Cabinet will be looking at updating the council's events policy. We know it needs to reflect recent changes to events that are now taking place in Haringey’s parks, particularly its most popular - Finsbury Park.

The changes aim to:

  • ensure that events held in Finsbury Park are well managed to minimise their impact on landscaping, other park visitors and neighbours
  • allow access to parks for a range of community events
  • develop a programme of park events and activities that have minimal impact
  • hold a programme of commercial events whose income enables us to continue to maintain and improve our parks

The increase in other venues in London and the expansion of multi-day festivals taking place outside of London has resulted in fewer events being held in Finsbury Park. The result is that the council has faced significant budget pressures from the loss of income.

However, following successful events this year interest in using the Park has increased and therefore in the current financial climate the council wishes to benefit by generating increased income. This will help the council to meet the income target for 2014 of £165,000, provide the funding for the community festival and ensure income is available to fund improvements in the park's maintenance over the coming years.

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What we propose

Use of the park for events

We continue to support the use of Finsbury Park for a limited number of large commercial events as well as a range of community and fundraising events. Our current events policy defines ‘an event’ as one day. However, those looking to book Finsbury Park are generally looking to hold an event that lasts 2 days, and on some occasions 3 days.

Outdoor events generally take place in the six months from April to September with large events in particular generally needing seven days to setup and three days to breakdown and leave the site.

Large events (over 10,000 attending) have not been permitted during the school summer holidays and we are not proposing to change this. Allowing for a break between events, or groups of events, we believe that the maximum number of large events that could be held in any one year is six.

  • We propose that the new policy increases the number of large events permissible from five to six; and increases the duration from one to two days (three days on some occasions)

Attendance Numbers

The existing policy limits the number of people attending large events to 40,000. However, as a result of the introduction of the Licensing Act 2003, the attendance numbers at events are now determined by the Premises Licensing process.

Ongoing premises licences are held by two event organisers for Finsbury Park: one for an attendance level of 39,999 and the other for 49,999. However, final attendance numbers have to be agreed with the Metropolitan Police. The ability of the local transport network to get people home at the end of the event is as much a factor in agreeing final attendance levels as the size of the area used for events.

  • We propose to update the policy to reflect the introduction of the Licensing Act 2003

Finsbury Park Event Footprint

The attached map of Finsbury Park shows an outline of a recent event held in the ‘bandstand field footprint’. It shows that the remaining part of Finsbury Park (not being used for the event) is larger than the whole of Clissold Park, located approximately a mile away.

Area Used

The area used for large events, fairs and circuses is generally described as the ‘bandstand field footprint’. This is the sloping area of the Park south of the Cafe heading towards Seven Sisters Road (between the Finsbury Gate and Hornsey Wood Tavern Gate). It has been the working practice to exclude from event areas any children’s play areas and sporting facilities.

With the exception of event days it is the practice to allow access to as much of this area as possible where safe to do so. On event days diversions are made via other paths in the Park.

  • It is proposed that the final area for an event is agreed through the event planning process, as the individual needs of each event is different

Funfairs and Circuses

In addition to controlling the numbers of large commercial events the policy also controls the number of times that the Funfair can visit Finsbury Park. At present it is permitted on three occasions each year normally to coincide with the school holidays.

Following a decision in July 2009 to permit a temporary relaxation of the council’s policy on performing animals, a circus has been allowed to visit the park. The circus are not permitted to use any wild animal acts and are only allowed to use horses, dog and birds in their performances. The circus is required to provide independent veterinary advice confirming a high standard of care during performances, transportation and in their holding facilities. This continues to apply.

  • It is proposed to extend the control on funfairs to now also include the circus, therefore increasing the number of visits from three to four per year

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Reinvestment of income

The current policy states that any additional income generated above the annual income target should be set aside for use in the Park. Due to the lack of bookings in recent years there has not been any additional income to reinvest in the Park.

Part of the need to update the current policy is to secure a consistent number of bookings that provides a regular income from hosting events.

  • It is proposed that the use of additional income generated be used in other parks in the borough as well as Finsbury Park

Community Festival

In the past a community festival has been part of the annual programme of events in Finsbury Park. Provision was also made within the policy to financially support the community festival with income from the events programme.

  • It is proposed that a sum of £20,000 per annum would be set aside from the events income so that:
    • annual community led festivals in the parks will continue to be supported (subject to approval)
    • a wider programme of community activities is supported throughout the year in a number of Haringey parks - this might include initiatives such as a school holiday sporting programme, national play days and cultural events

Advice and Guidance

The majority of events that take place in the Park are smaller charity and community based events. The council and other bodies provide a range of advice and guidance that can assist in planning and managing these events. This is especially useful when planning an event for the first time or growing the size of an existing event. However, much of this information is located in different places and on different websites.

  • We propose to create a single site for event organisers needing advice and to produce a guide similar to those produced by other London Boroughs. This advice and guidance will apply to all parks in the borough

Some good examples of existing event guides can be found on Lambeth and Camden Councils’ websites.

Improving our service to you

In addition to finding out what you think about our proposed events policy we also want to improve the way we let you know what’s happening in Finsbury Park.

  • From January 2014 we propose:
    • extending the opportunity to local groups that better represent those living in the Finsbury Park area, by introducing a stakeholder meeting two months prior to any large event to comment on each event application
    • maintaining a list of event applications and their current status on the council’s website
    • including confirmed events on the council’s ‘What’s On’ page at least four weeks prior to the event taking place (two weeks for small events); including ‘event specific’ information and contact details of event organisers
    • require organisers of any event attracting over 10,000 people to leaflet a defined area adjacent to Finsbury Park two weeks prior to the event (this area will increase as the event attendance level increases)
    • maintaining a list of people interested in events taking place in Finsbury Park

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Summary of changes

This document has a full summary of proposed changes and the rationale behind the proposals ....

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Have your say

We want to know what people using the park, living near, or hosting events in the Park think of these proposals. We also want to hear from anyone interested in the future of Haringey’s parks. You can have your say before Thursday 31 October 2013.

Complete questionnaire

If you would like to submit a comment on the proposed change without completing the online survey please:

  • email: parks@haringey.gov.uk
  • write to: Client Services, 4th floor River Park House, 225 High Road, London, N22 8HQ

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Next steps

We will produce a feedback report setting out the views of everyone who told us what they thought about our proposals. It will explain how we have taken them into account in reaching a final decision about the policy changes and will be available on this website.

The final decision will be taken by Haringey’s Cabinet on 17 December 2013. This is a public meeting.

Attached Files

Tags: events, finsbury, park

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