May 24 2013 Latest news:
Else Kvist, Reporter
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
The Leader of the Labour opposition at Tower Hamlets Council says he is “shocked” and “heartbroken” by damage caused by commercial events held at Victoria Park.
Cllr Joshua Peck visited the park with fellow Labour councillors following the Apple Cart and Field Day festivals held over the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend.
He immediately took to twitter saying the damage caused following the park’s £12million restoration was heartbreaking.
He tweeted: “The damage already done to Victoria Park, just 2 weeks into 10 weeks of events, is heartbreaking.”
It comes after Labour councillors had urged Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman to reduce the number of commercial events at the park from nine to six annually and not block off large parts of the park between events.
Cllr Peck said: “We were genuinely shocked by the damage. Huge areas of grass have been churned up with deep tyre tracks gouged out. There are whole tracts that are now just mud with the grass destroyed.
“It’s clear no effort whatsoever has been made to keep vehicle movements to the routes where boards have been laid and the damage is both inside and outside the fenced off area.”
Co-promoter of the Field Day and Apple Cart festivals, Marcus Weedon, said: “We make every effort to protect the park environment.
“It should be noted that the weather conditions were unseasonably wet and proved very challenging. Some unavoidable ground damage has occurred.”
He said the council will keep part of their deposit for use of the park to help pay for repair work.
Labour’s Mile End and Globe Town councillor, Amy Whitelock, said: “No-one is saying we shouldn’t allow big events but there needs to be a balance between these and the concerns of residents. My residents face significant anti-social behaviour and noise during events.”
A council spokeswoman said: “Measures which are being taken to minimise disruption include having additional officers working to make sure the festivals are running well, licensing conditions are met, noise levels are monitored throughout and prompt action is taken should this be necessary.
“The highly popular events raise £100,000 for the council which is reinvested into the park and free community events.”