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We'll keep the Green Flag flying here @haringeycouncil @Clive_Carter @FinsParkFriends

Green Flag awards are given to parks and other open spaces which meet certain criteria, under eight major headings.









Haringey used to be very proud of Haringey parks with Green Flag status and still lists Finsbury Park as a green flag park, even though for the moment the flag is not flying.

It has to be acknowledged that with the changes to the way local authorities are funded the London Borough of Haringey is generally strapped for cash, but we also know that Finsbury Park is a rich source of income, which must be spent in the park. So lack of cash should not be the reason for the [temporary?] removal of the Park's green flag.

What we also know is that

  •  Finsbury Park's management plan is out of date so it fails section 8
  • during the various music festivals over the year the park is massively unwelcoming, so that from time to time it fails section 1
  • the homeless camp out here, and a murder took place not so long ago, so the park is perhaps not so healthy, safe and secure as it might be
  • the community, and neighbouring communities have raised very serious doubts over whether the park is a suitable venue for events such as the Wireless Festival, doubts which were dismissed out of hand by Cllr Ejiofor  and less than convincingly recognised by the licensing committee casting some doubt on section 6

This picture of an empty flag pole is taken from the Martin Ball's twitter stream. This one is in Downhills Park (I think) which has also had its green flag struck.

The BBC has run at least one piece on the topic which is available on Clive Carter's youtube channel

Tags: finsbury park, green flag, pluscachange

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Apparently its down to bins and graffiti

THE admission of the Green Flag Award suspensions was made at last Saturday's meeting of the Haringey Parks Forum. (pictured).

The reports on the nine parks (two failed; seven failing), were promised by the council to councillors and the public. These reports don't need to be written, as they're already written. It would be a matter of forwarding. They are probably a single pdf file.

At five o'clock this evening, no park reports had been received.

The failure to supply a report about park maintenance demonstrates both a general contempt for the pubic and possible embarrassment at the contents of the reports.

Mystery Shopping - Interim Quality Assessment

To appear here shortly …

"To appear here shortly".

Some clarity please, Clive. Does that cryptic comment mean that you or one of your contacts has now had the reports?

I enjoyed your spoof of the Cllr Joe Ejiofor message - with green flags on the wall behind him. But only after someone persuaded me to keep watching and that it wasn't just his lifeless reading of extracts from the Council's most boring PR bulletins.

The point where one of the two green flags swings down was a laugh out loud moment. Maybe getting its humour from letters starting to fall off a display behind the hapless Theresa May.

I was though, disappointed that the poster didn't fold itself unto a paper plane and fly away. Next time?

Meanwhile here's my answering tweet.
It was of course inspired by Adrian Essex's heading: "We'll keep the green flag flying here"

The people's parks have green flags high
Oops. Two of them no longer fly.
One fluttered over Finsbury Park
Where has it gone? We're in the dark.

Another o'er Downhills flew
Its pole is bare.
We lost that too
For Haringey Parks who gives a fig?
We'll rent 'em off to a music gig.

NOT the reports plural.

Probably in order to frustrate comparability and a united reaction from the Haringey Parks Forum, the Council has contrived to send reports on individual parks to the Chairs of the Friends Groups of individual parks.

This is an effective attempt to divide the groups, who have a common interest in defending parks.

I hope to upload the whole report on Finsbury Park (only), tomorrow, following a formal statement from the Friends of Finsbury Park: a registered Charitable Trust.

The poem is brilliant. I compare it with La Marseillaise.


POETRY procures a PowerParchment Presentation

HERE is the Green Flag Report on Finsbury Park, by Keep Britain Tidy.

For a period, it had been concealed by Haringey. At the time of writing, a number of other such Reports on parks controlled by the Council remain suppressed, with an intention to trickle them out.

There is attached the original Report and a copy in which I have highlighted parts in yellow.


ON Friday, the second batch of Keep Britain Tidy Reports went up on the council's web site, without fanfare and after much delay. At the same time, an unexpected third batch of KBT Reports also went up. Batch Three dealt with only two parks, but both were Graded Red. 

Below is an explanation offered on 11 January by a council officer. The delay in publishing the Reports is addressed obliquely. The multiple inspections may have been "challenging" less due to their volume and more to do with the number and proportion of parks that were graded Red: a total of nine parks (above) run by Haringey Council did not meet the Green Flag Award standard and exhibited major areas of concern.

The claim of welcoming the reports is at variance with the reason for their suppression given earlier, that was that Haringey disagreed with aspects of the reports (there may have been an effort by the council to get the reports withdrawn or amended, but that is merely my conjecture).

The link to the Green Flag Reports of inspections by Keep Britain Tidy, is here.

Dear Ward Councillors and Friends,
As many of you are aware, the Council has been subjected to an unprecedented level of Green Flag Mystery Shopping over recent months, and it has been challenging to have so many inspections at one time. However, we very much welcome the reports and appreciate the useful feedback the Green Flag inspections have provided.
The report for your park was conducted on 7th November but the council did not receive the report until 19th December, some six weeks later. I attach a copy of the report and we will also be publishing it on the council’s website.
Keep Britain Tidy have not asked for the flags to be taken down and therefore the park remains a Green Flag accredited park.
As you would expect we will be preparing an action plan for your park and we aim to complete the identified works by the end of March.
Should you wish to discuss any aspect of the report please do not hesitate to contact me.
Kind regards

Finally, finally. Some facts; fresh air; and sunshine.

Except that even the "explanation" has a colander-full of holes.

ONE of the holes would appear to be the claim that

the park remains a Green Flag accredited park …

following a Red Grade, which level of grade is defined as a park that,

does not meet the Award Standard with Major Areas of Concern

It won't surprise anyone, but is this not a further example of municipal shamelessness?

Telling an unpleasant truth is hard, isn't it? Some people will wriggle and niggle and even giggle their way out of doing it.

When our nearest local park was awarded a green flag Haringey Council erected a flagpole. There was a real green flag. It wasn't one of those fake awards where local councils "pay for a table" of senior staff to go off to a posh venue for a "silver service" dinner with dull speeches. 
It was low key. A few of us strolled into the park; up went the green flag. We were genuinely proud because there was something to be proud of.

Now we fly the green lie. Or is that too crude a word? Prefer something softer, gentler ? A Google search takes less than a second.

Wind the story up,
tell a fairy tale
Spin spin, fib fib fib

Bend a falsity
Blend mendacity
Fib fib fib

Point to the flagpole
Point to the ground
Spread fake PR all around

Mix your flags together
Hip hooray
No one believes a word you say.

Don't know the tune? Ask a toddler.

I don't know who Haringey thinks they are fooling.

Not the public, who pay for local government and services.

The self-serving statements seem to fulfil a need of council officers to have propaganda of their own in which they can believe.

For the public, the misleading—if not deception—serves to promote mistrust and cynicism.


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