‘We need to stand up for our park, our rights and our voice’: Residents will present a petition to the Council calling on the Mayor to reconsider his controversial decision to increase major event days in Victoria Park.
More than 160 residents have criticised a decision made by Tower Hamlets Mayor, Lutfur Rahman and his cabinet that will see the number of major event days increase at Victoria Park.
In November 2023, Mr Rahman and his cabinet members from the Aspire Party approved a report which will see the number of major event days in the park increase from 10 to 12 each year.
The move will also see the capacity threshold for these events days increase from a minimum of 5,000 people to 20,000 people.
Over the years Victoria Park has been at the heart of many popular music festivals including Lovebox and All Points East, which saw the likes of Stormzy, The Strokes and Aphex Twin perform earlier this summer.
Mr Rahman said the Council had ‘no choice’ but to hire out the park as another way of making money.
However, the plans were criticised by Labour and Green Party councillors, who raised concerns for local residents as well as the environmental impact on the park as a local green space.
A petition has now been signed by 160 people criticising the plans and will be presented by residents at next week’s Council meeting (Wednesday 24 January).
Residents have demanded the Council carry out a consultation on the Mayor’s plans for the park, which they have called a ‘terrible idea’.
The petition reads: ‘This is a terrible idea that would ruin our park, our neighbourhood, and our environment. It would mean more noise, more traffic, more waste, and more pollution in our area.
‘It would also mean less access and less enjoyment of the park for us, especially for our families and children who need the park during the summer holidays.’
The petition went on: ‘We cannot let this happen. We need to stand up for our park, our rights and our voice.
‘We are campaigning to keep the number of large events as it is with all
the mitigating measures for residents in place.’
When the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) approached the Council for comment, a spokesperson said they understand the concerns and remain ‘absolutely committed’ to working with community group Victoria Park Friends and ensuring the events cause little disruption to park users and local residents.
They said: ‘The proposed changes would allow for a wider range of events to be considered by the Council and boost local businesses and provide a wider range of things for local people to do and enjoy in the park.
‘As part of the major events programme, both the Council and the event organiser, pro-actively engage with residents and the Friends group through community consultation sessions specific to the events programme.’
For more local news, read Points of View: Palestinian flags flying in Tower Hamlets.
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