Finsbury Park February Update

February 11th, 2016

Great news! We are going to get forty two new trees for planting in Finsbury Park this year, thanks to Alex Fraser, Tree & Nature Conservation Manager. There’s a wide variety including Hop hornbeams, Trident maples, Black poplars, alders and limes. There is also a chance for us to plant an orchard so we are looking into suitable places for this. Volunteers will be welcomed to help with the planting of the trees, so we will post the dates on our website shortly.

old-finsbury-park-benches
Finsbury Park Avenue – 1913

After seeing a wonderful photo on Twitter of the old benches on the Avenue in Finsbury Park, we’ve been speaking to the Park Manager, Lewis Taylor with the idea of a starting a restoration project in the McKenzie Flower Garden area, which already has some of these original benches, now over one hundred years old. We’d like to restore the old benches and get some more replicas made, similar to these ones in Clissold Park.

IMG_5245
Clissold Park Benches

We are working with Haringey Council to see if we can get funding for this. Other ideas in the McKenzie Flower Garden include a general tidy up, topiary idea, properly looked after flower beds, a quiet area for families, and a Victorian rose garden.

McKenzie Flower Garden
McKenzie Flower Garden

More updates soon!


Free Bulky Items Collection

February 10, 2016

Due to the increasing problem of dumped household items in our streets and open spaces, we’ve been asked to spread the word about the Haringey Council/Veolia free bulky items collection.

Haringey Council/Veolia will collect a wide range of household items free of charge, all residents need to do is call 020 8885 7700 and book a collection time.

Items collected for free include:

  • White goods: fridges, freezers, washing machines, tumble dryers, ovens, cookers, dishwashers
  • Furniture: mattresses, bed frames, tables, chairs, wardrobes, bookcases, upholstered furniture
  • Empty gas cylinders
  • Car batteries and car tyres
  • TVs and computers
  • Plus anything else that can be reused or recycled

Other items that can not be recycled, such as carpet, can be collected by Veolia for a small charge.

This is quite an extensive list so hopefully the more people who know about it, the less dumping of household items in our streets, parks and open spaces.

Further information can be found at :http://www.haringey.gov.uk/environment-and-waste/refuse-and-recycling/refuse/bulky-items-collection-service


 

New Chair at The Friends of Finsbury Park

I’m very happy to say I was elected as the new Chair of the Friends of Finsbury Park at our AGM on Tuesday 19th January. It was a great evening with a fantastic turn-out.

I have not been involved with the Friends for very long, compared to many people, but in the eight months since I joined I have been working on the website and social media side with a view to letting people know who we are and what we want to do to protect and improve the park.

As you know we are fortunate to have been chosen by the Stroud Green WI as their charity for the year, and I’ve been working with them closely recently, helping with their winter fair, which resulted in a very generous donation of £1,500, and we are discussing future projects.

It is no secret that the Friends has been trying its best to get Haringey Council to listen to the many concerns raised by park users and local residents about large events, such as Wireless, with unfortunately little effect, probably because Haringey has identified the park as a way of generating income, much of which is not spent on the park.

This is an ongoing situation but we are gaining more members, thanks to a raised public profile, and my plan is to continue to do that, making links, so that the council is in no doubts about the wishes of Park users and the local community.

Despite the obvious frustration caused by all of this we must not lose sight of the fact that we love Finsbury Park. It’s a great place, and I honestly believe it has a great future, but it needs to be helped. We cannot assume that it will always be there for us to use and enjoy. We each have to take responsibility for its future.

I am looking forward to taking that responsibility on, building on all the hard work that Kevin has put in, and I want to help the Friends grow stronger in order to ensure the park is not just protected but is able to thrive.

Many thanks,

Tom Palin


Alarm Bells Ring Over Wireless Festival 2016

Is Wireless Festival 2016 Going To Be Even Bigger?

On the evening of the 3rd December 2015 we received a notification from Haringey Council for Wireless Festival 2016. Much to our alarm they were proposing 6 days of events on consecutive weekends (1st, 2nd & 3rd July 2016 and 8th, 9th 10th July) involving a 22 day occupation of Finsbury Park by Live Nation/Festival Republic. The information implied that Wireless Festival was going to be even bigger, 2 events both being 3 days long, the first event incorporating some kind of charity event.

Understandably we received many tweets and questions from dismayed park users struggling to comprehend how an already overly large and unmanageable event could get even bigger.

The Event Details read:

Title of event: Finsbury Park Concerts. Wireless Festival
Venue: Finsbury Park
On site at (Prep): 24/06/2016 08:00:00
Start time: 01/07/2016 10:00:00
Finish time: 10/07/2016 23:00:00
Off site (clear up): 15/07/2016 18:00:00
Other information: During the event days some stage trucks will need to change over after the events
Max number of attendees: 50000
Audience Profile: Families, Young People, Older People, Other
Is the event ticketed?: Yes
Is the event open to public?: Yes
Invited guests only?: No
Type of Event: Community, Music festival

Event Description:

Finsbury Park Concerts will likely be a 2 stage music event held on 1st, 2nd & 3rd July. Planned to include a community/charity event, The Wireless Festival will likely be a 3 stages music event held on 8th, 9th & 10th July.

On the same day of this release late that evening, were informed by Simon Farrow, Head of Direct Services at Haringey Council that event notification HGY0241 was indeed an application received from Festival Republic for a major event in the summer, but that it has been sent out in error as the application was incomplete and required further scrutiny by the council before being ready for any type of consultation.  He also told us not to send in any comment regarding the application.

Consultation is an essential part of the process required before any application is considered by a cabinet member, however this did not happen in relation to last years extra day on the weekend before Wireless Festival.

Pending clarification from Simon Farrow it seemed that that two events had been conflated into a single application. The applicant for the new “Finsbury Park Concerts” event on 1-3 July was from Festival Republic, part or wholly owned by Live Nation who were looking to piggy back the Wireless event infrastructure including a charity event of some kind to make it seem more community friendly – see their web-site (festivalrepublic.com). They also have an indefinite license for park events.

Questions remained. Had Simon retracted this application in its entirety, i.e. six days, or just the Finsbury Park Concerts event from 1-3 July?  We called the council’s “Event Officer” Thema Channer asking for clarification and for Simon to get in touch, still not sure whether we had to object to the Wireless event by the 17th December deadline subject to confirmation.

As Simon referred to application HGY02419, as incomplete, this should, in normal circumstances, be sufficient reassurance that all of the events listed in the application were being withdrawn from consultation at this stage. However, given that Haringey Council slipped in an extra Wireless day this year which was not included in any formal event application, we needed to be extra cautious.

We contacted Simon Farrow asking him to confirm that all six days listed in the event application had been withdrawn from formal notification and consultation, and that given some of the unfortunate breakdowns in communication over Wireless 2015, particularly in respect of the extra event day which was never included in any formal event notification, we were anxious to ensure that all room for further doubt was removed.

Simon Farrow later confirmed that all six events had been withdrawn from the application sent in error, but he also confirmed that Wireless Festival in Finsbury Park  would be delivered by Festival Republic (owned by Live Nation) and not Live Nation and that all Live Nation Festivals are now under the control of Festival Republic.

We told him we were very alarmed to see any reference, albeit mistakenly issued, to a prospective virtual doubling of Wireless/Festival Republic event days in Finsbury Park, and that the serious damage and disturbance sustained from Wireless 2015 was surely bad enough without the prospect of between 100,000 and 150,000 additional pairs of feet trampling the area next year.

We feel that any further imposition of noise and disruption, so concentrated in this three week period, would be seen as intolerable to many and would provoke markedly increased opposition to these large-scale events. We very much hope that the retraction of the event application notice was driven by a realisation that such a proposal would not be attainable or acceptable.

We do understand the pressures imposed on Haringey Council by severe cuts from central government and the desire to attract alternative funding sources for parks. However, as we have frequently proposed in the past, we believe that more effort should be applied to exploring more imaginative remedies and to attracting alternative, less disruptive, events to Finsbury Park. We have a number of ideas of our own for how best to manage the park and it’s events which we would like to discuss with our members and the council in the future.

We are currently awaiting a response.  Our objective is to convince Haringey to abandon these large scale events in the park, however in the meantime we are obviously hoping that at the very least they will think better about increasing the number of event days in 2016 . We will need to remain vigilant.


Adidas PR Event – Update

13th, January 2015

Multi-million pound sportswear firm Adidas has backtracked on a plan to stage a 21-day PR event in Finsbury Park next month.

We are aware that there were objections raised about the commercial nature of the event, and the scale of the disruption which would have been caused to both park users and those living nearby.

Haringey Council event officer Thema Channer said ‘The organisers have secured alternative space.’  She added ‘There were some concerns raised regarding the type of event that was being held.  Just to clarify, our Outdoor Events Policy does not state that we will not hold commercial/promotional events’.


Adidas Plan Finsbury Park 21 Day PR Event

On Monday 4th january we received the following event application from Haringey Council for an Adidas product launch and PR event which would occupy large areas of Finsbury Park for 21 days in February. As you can see from the response date, we have less than two weeks to respond as the event is planned for early February.

Our view is that Haringey Council should not give us such short notice (less than 14 days) of an event where much of the relevant information has not been included or determined. Nothing is said about the start and finish times of the main event (other than on arrival and departure days) but the applicant has indicated that they want to operate later into the evening. Another critical element would be whether there would be loud ‘motivational’ music associated with the promotion.

Given that Adidas would be in the Park for three weeks, the scale and location would need to be known well before the deadline of the 18th January. We would also like to know what Adidas are paying Haringey.

Whilst we want alternative income generation to Wireless, we do need to be cautious about over corporatisation of park space and suspicious of commercial promotions wrapped up as good health or community initiatives.

We have contacted Haringey Council to try to get more information about the event. If you have any views please contact us or tweet @FinsParkFriends.

You can of course let the council know what you think by contacting Haringey Council Event Organiser thema.channer2@haringey.gov.uk. Full event application follows;

 

Haringey Event Office

Council Name: Haringey Event Office
Ref No: HGY02542
Sent From: Thema Channer
Please respond to: thema.channer2@haringey.gov.uk
Phone: 02084891418

Title:

adidas Pure Boost X launch 11th February 2016

Notes:

Hello and a Happy New Year!

Please provide any feedback/comments by 18th January 2016.

Thanks

Event Detail:

Title of event: adidas Pure Boost X launch
Venue: Finsbury Park
On site at (Prep): 08/02/2016 09:00:00
Start time: 11/02/2016 11:00:00
Finish time: 25/02/2016 21:00:00
Off site (clear up): 28/02/2016 17:00:00
Max number of attendees: 100
Audience Profile: Families, Young People
Is the event ticketed?: No
Is the event open to public?: Yes
Invited guests only?: No
Type of Event: Launch/promotional, Community, Sporting, Corporate, Other

Event Description:
In February 2016, adidas will launch their Pure Boost X range – a Female only running trainer, which generates energy for you as you use them. Pure Boost X has 4 key pillars – Fitness, Style, Health and Community which are the driving force behind everything the brand does. The UK launch activity is focusing on the X, which comes from the X chromosome and our activity will be in 2 elements. Element 1 – The ‘X’ unit We will build a giant X shaped stand (X from a birds-eye view, not stacked) with each leg being a zone representing each of the brand pillars listed above. Each zone is tailored to the desires and preferences of our girls, while pulling in the wider assets of the brand. Fitness = Try the shoe / Style = Dress feet up / Health = Get a Boost / Community / Join the movement. The X will showcase the product, but also provide hints and tips to help boost performance, product trial and demonstration, exclusive content and content capture and sharing opportunities as well as help generate a community of like-minded individuals around running. Element 2 – The running circuit Alongside other media activity, we will be building community and helping women run at one of the most difficult times of year. Using the X as a central hub, we will create an illuminated, high tech and exciting running track/course around an area of the park, which would enable our girls to continue running slightly later into the evening than usual. There will be gadgets and gizmos for the runners to wear, plus lighting, illuminations and graphics which change as more energy is generated by the runners. The track/course would be visually impactful, providing the runners themselves with an incredible experience whilst also being a very PRable talking point for both adidas and the park/borough. We would obviously need to have further discussions about the area of the park we can use and any regulations and guidelines you may have regarding alterations/additions to the parks infrastructure – this is a key element of the activity, so we will need to discuss how this can work.

What benefits will this event bring to the local community?

Community is key to this activity, we are creating something to encourage more females into running, enabling them to get involved in a physical and communal sense with what we produce. Outlined by Element 2 above, we want to create a safe haven for women to run during the dark, cold winter nights of February and boost the number of participants which significantly drops at this time of year.


AGM on Tuesday 19th January 2016

The Friends of Finsbury Park will be holding its AGM on Tuesday 19th January 2016 at 7pm in the Large Meeting Room, Finsbury Park Trust Offices, 225–229 Seven Sisters Road, London N4 2DA (a minute’s walk from Finsbury Park Underground Station’s Seven Sisters Road entrance).

For a formal notice and agenda please click here.

We would love to hear your views, and all are very welcome to attend and to enjoy the complimentary coffee, tea and biscuits! You will need to be an approved member to vote on any business at the meeting, but membership is free so please click here to join.

I am delighted to inform you that our guest speaker will be Will Palin who is Conservation Director of the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich. Will has been very involved in campaigns to protect our parks and green spaces (Read more…)

Local MP’s, including our patron Jeremy Corbyn, have been invited to attend.

I very much hope that you will be able to join us on the 19th January.

On behalf of the management committee I wish you all a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR..

Best wishes,

Kevin Duffy

Chair


Working together to create a greener, healthier park for all

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