The Council are running a survey on events in Lewisham parks, and they would like your views.
What does this mean?
Well, basically, the Council are interested in hosting more events in local parks as a way of making money. They recognise that funds are tight – as we well know, local park budgets have suffered recently – and are exploring whether they could run more events, some of which will be paid ticket only events, as a way of raising funds.
This is a particularly important issue for Mountsfield Park. Our park is one of the largest in Lewisham and is already an established site for large scale events like Lewisham People’s Day. It seems likely that it will be a popular location for any other events that are run.
What are the pluses and minuses to this proposal?
Holding more events means that the Council can raise funds, helping to protect park budgets, and there may well be events that local residents are keen to see and attend. Charging entry is a good way of making money and attracting high quality performers and events.
But events can be disruptive – many of you have commented on the negative impact of People’s Day for example – and there are likely to be events that don’t appeal to you. At this stage, we don’t know what sort of events might be scheduled, when or for how long areas of the park might have restricted access, or what costs might be.
What does FOMP think about the proposal?
Our view is that if Lewisham residents react positively to this suggested course of action, then we would want to see any revenue raised fed directly back into the parks budget. In particular, we believe that parks holding specific events should get extra funds to recognise the impact in terms of disruption and damage which hosting might entail. If managed sensibly, this could well be a good way of raising income in times of financial hardship.
We would encourage you to think about these issues, and respond to the survey (which can be found here: https://lewisham-consult.objective.co.uk/portal (look for ‘Lewisham Parks and Open Spaces Survey 2015’).
Yours views really count and a really good response from Mountsfield Park users would help to ensure that we can protect and promote our wonderful space. Please do find just five minutes to respond.
Rory, Maria, Carrie, Ros, Rivke, Max, and Gareth
(PS – don’t forget the most important event – the FREE picnic and funday organised by FOMP on Saturday 5 September, with our first ever Birds of Prey display!)