Members of FoSC attended the feedback and consultation session held by We Are The Fair Ltd with regard to the Kisstory on the Common event 27th & 28th July 2019.
Whilst the organisers, year on year, have put in place restricted parking, increased security and additional toilet facilities around the immediate area, this has only been been in response to points raised by residents and users of Streatham Common during the yearly licensing hearings . But ultimately we feel the council’s overall responsibility to supporting the common during and post-event falls very short of dealing with long term environmental problems, but also with that of the general peace and ambience of the surrounding Common.
Therefore, FoSC has objections to the license on the following points:
Damage to the lower Common never adequately repaired. The common now has multiple ground cover and problems which has had no time to recover over 4 years, from a number of events and compounded by large events. A build up of small litter items such as cigarette butts, bottletops, nitrous oxide canisters. Deep holes and scars etc are left unfixed as they are not checked sufficiently soon enough after the events.
A very large section of the usable area of the Common is unavailable to the public for nearly 2 weeks.
The Common is not large enough for such events with sound carrying up into the wooded areas and into Norwood Grove [depending on the wind direction].
Noise levels are unacceptable with homes less than 100m from the stage yet noise levels are monitored over 400m away.
The event is not run for the benefit of local people or for the Common but instead run entirely for the profit of the council and at the expense of the Common.
No transparency on the deal between the council and the events company; the initial agreement was to put 1/3 of the profit back into the Common but this agreement has now disappeared.
Parking & traffic is severely disrupted from the start of set up to final take down. [10 day period]. Traffic during the event is a nightmare in the area.
Rubbish in the surrounding streets is never cleared, in spite of the organisers paying the council for clearance. It can be up to 5 days for debris to be removed, with roads leading further away from the common left untouched by cleaners.
Anti social behaviour by festival goers for the duration of the event; Drugs are openly sold, there is Urination (and worse) in the surrounding streets. The police presence that the organisers pay for is clearly not enough to cover these problems.
If you have an opinion on any issues arising from licensing this particular event, please respond by Thursday 21st March 2019
If you wish to make an objection, the License for this particular event is being handled email@example.com
As we have said before, it is not a personal issue with the organisers, who have positively reached out to us this year, nor is it an objection to the music – it is purely the sheer size, disruption and ensuing environmental problems to the Common’s space that makes this type of event unsustainable.
We cannot stress how important it is that everyone who uses a local green space in Lambeth, not just Streatham Common, responds to this consultation.
There is increased public awareness on how the council needs to be more transparent and accountable to ordinary users of green spaces and local volunteer groups, like the Friends of Streatham Common. These are the people who end up trying to manage the aftermath associated with heavy intense use of the spaces as well as litter and environmental issues. We need to challenge how open spaces are being used for events that provide little return to the surrounding community but maximum damage and disruption.
Whilst we are sympathetic that our council has had to endure severe funding cuts, the current Parks Investment Levy (PIL) charged to private companies using parks and open spaces is not fit for purpose, nor is it transparent.
Friends of Streatham Common is pressing for a fallow year allowing the ground to rest [much like Glastonbury does from time to time]. We still have damage from a large music event held four years ago, and the ground has not yet recovered from the circus in March 2018 which churned up a major part of the lower Common in spite of local residents and FoSC members pleading with them to cease moving in heavy mud. So extreme was the damage, it meant that other events, including free community events such as Kite Day, had to be postponed. In order for the common to be environmentally stable, to regain some balance it needs a break.
We need to ensure that better planning is put in place by officials, that decisions made for financial gain should properly benefit the surrounding community, and that there is a more hands on approach as to when and how these events are licensed.
Please consider responding to the council with your opinion. Please give examples if you can. It can make all the difference.
The Friends of Streatham Common Present an Evening Bat Walk
Bat Walk Friday 10th May 2019 @ 8.45pm
Dr Iain Boulton, Environmental Compliance Officer for Lambeth Parks and Open Spaces takes you on an evening walk & talk about one of our very popular residents, the much misunderstood bat. Now protected, they are a small but important pollinator & pest controller for our common.