As we go to the High Court on Thursday 2nd November to challenge the legal basis on which councils say they have the power to hire out large parts of their public parks for an unlimited period of time for commercial events, here is an explanation of what is at stake and how the outcome could affect your local park.
Although primarily a London campaign, should we win our appeal, it would set a legal precedent and a nationwide cap on the number of days a year that parks can be rented out for events, and put size restrictions on events in London parks to areas 1/10th the size of the park.
Our case is of vital importance to local authority public parks. As has been highlighted by Haringey Council’s proposals for next summer’s events in Finsbury Park, applications have already been made for the closures of the Park for up to 6 large-scale events. This means that large areas of the Park would be closed for up to 10 weeks of the summer, just on the basis of the information received so far. We anticipate that further event applications may be on the way.
The Appeal: London and Beyond
- In London, there is the explicit area restriction of max of 1/10 of the park to be closed off by virtue of the Ministry of Housing and Local Government Provisional Order Confirmation (Greater London Parks and Open Spaces) Act 1967, Article 7.
- In London and the rest of the country, section 44 of the Public Health Acts Amended Act 1890 limits the time that a park can be closed to no more than 12 days in a year or 6 consecutive days on any one occasion.
- The Council and Wireless say that s.145 of the Local Government Act 1972 allows a local authority to ignore the 1967 Act and the 1890 Act. We say it doesn’t.
- So if we are right, London parks will be subject to an area limit and a time limit; local authority parks outside London will be subject to the time limit only (so our case will still be of benefit to parks outside London in that the time limit will apply).
- We say there are obvious reasons for having an area restriction in London given the size and built up nature of the capital and the greater distances to be travelled to open areas than, say, in York.
Our Fundrasing Campaign:
We desperately need to raise more money for our appeal and we still need your help to stop our parks being used in this way. Many councils are already looking to host events such as Wireless in their parks. Commercial exploitation such as this will happen across the country if we don’t make a stand. These are your green spaces, your community, your parks. We can stop this now, and save our parks for generations to come, helping our children and theirs to enjoy parks as the Victorians originally intended.
Please pledge now: https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/protectlondonsparks/