Islington Council faces huge Twitter backlash over street party noise complaint

21:52 23 July 2012

Foto8 Summershow launch night party on Honduras Street. Photo by Ben Hughes for Foto8 Gallery

Foto8 Summershow launch night party on Honduras Street. Photo by Ben Hughes for Foto8 Gallery

Ben Hughes

It has exposed celebrity wrongdoing – with highly paid lawyers powerless to stop it – and even had a hand in toppling governments.

Now Islington Council has felt the force of Twitter – after crossing a street party organiser with a fearsome army of followers on the social networking website.

The council was swept up in a fierce online storm after a noise officer objected to the Foto8 Summershow party in Honduras Street, Finsbury.

What she didn’t realise is that photojournalism gallery Foto8 has some 18,000 followers – who then laid seige to the town hall’s Twitter page.

Foto8 founder Jon Levy said: “I invited my followers to tell the council what they thought. There were a lot of people who liked this event enough to tell them.”

He is now hailing a victory for people power after being offered a meeting to resolve the dispute.

He added: “The council called up and promised to have a meeting with me if I could tell my followers to stop. It seems the power of Twitter works, whether you’re in Egypt or Islington.”

The annual Summershow party was held on Friday, July 6, outside his Foto8 gallery, and was a free party for friends, photographers and the community, attracting around 500 people.

Mr Levy was aggrieved by the council’s treatment because he had spent months putting all the correct licensing paperwork in order.

Despite this, he was sent a letter by noise patrol officer Anne Brothers last week saying one complaint had been logged – and as a result her team would oppose any similar events in future.

He says another council officer had stopped by to inspect the event and found no problems, while the party was over by about 11.30pm.

Cllr Paul Smith, executive member for environment, said: “We haven’t banned Foto8 from holding outdoor events in future, but these kind of events can disturb the neighbours if they are not properly agreed, licensed and controlled. If Mr Levy is willing, we’ll meet him to advise on his options.”

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