Lambeth is consulting on a refresh of its Events Strategy – the rules covering events at parks and open spaces throughout the borough. There's an online survey where you can input your views.
Councillor Sonia Winifred, Cabinet Member for Equalities and Culture, states:
In 2016, the council created a new events strategy for 2016-2020. Lambeth has a rich history of hosting a range of events that are enjoyed by a diverse range of people. The key values of this strategy were:
- Generate income – With increased funding pressures due to a huge cut in our funding from central government, we need to think creatively about ways to generate income in our borough which included attracting commercial events to our public spaces.
- Protect parks – With reduced funding, we wanted to ensure that part of events income was ring-fenced to pay for improvements in parks so introduced the parks investment levy (PIL).
- Keep the much loved Lambeth Country Show free – this historic event is much loved by residents and we remain committed to keeping it free.
- Support a diverse range of events including community events and major events – we wanted to ensure that Lambeth’s vibrancy and diversity was reflected in its events programming. The independent Parks for London Good Parks for London 2018 Report scored Lambeth highly on the quality and diversity of our events programming.
- Give certainty about the number of events – we instigated a maximum of 8 major events in certain spaces
Since then, there has been much public interest in certain events held in Lambeth parks. A review of the Events Strategy is being undertaken during 2019 in order to inform a refreshed Strategy to be implemented later in the year.
A number of changes are already being implemented, including adopting a new Events Policy template produced by Parks for London and representing best practice for London. We would welcome your views on other proposals and would like to provide an opportunity for you to let us know your thoughts on events in parks in general.
The overarching values from 2016 remain but in the refreshed strategy there is a particular focus on events being environmentally sustainable, financially transparent as well as locally led and accountable:
- Environmentally sustainable – We have already purchased specialist equipment for Lambeth Landscapes to use for event reparations to allow repair works of a professional standard to be undertaken year round by our staff. We are proposing that producers of Major events fund an Environmental Impact Assessment. We propose a new emphasis on events which have minimal potential to damage grass, for example through greater use of hard-surfaced sites.
- Financially transparent - We are proposing to publish annual figures on events income and what the Parks Investment Levy is spent on
- Locally led and accountable – We have already integrated the events and parks teams into the same council service (Neighbourhoods), to ensure a more balanced perspective for large events held in parks and ensure closer working between officers in the different teams. We are proposing that community engagement happens earlier in the event application process. We also suggest that we remove the current complex formula for the Parks Investment Levy (PIL) and r replace it with a set percentage of total income from every event to ensure consistency and more income for our parks.