Haringey Council clashes with Finsbury Park report

HARINGEY Council has disagreed with charity Keep Britain Tidy due to Finsbury Park being rated the worst possible by an inspector.

The council’s cabinet member for environment outlined that she had “concerns” in regards to recent inspections after a mystery shopper report gave a damning verdict on the park – and recommended major events were causing damage.

For a limited time period, Finsbury Park was removed from its green flag status due to a visit from Keep Britain Tidy, which oversees the award scheme, in October.

In response, Haringey Council carried out improvement work and the green flags were later re-flown.

However, the park was again rated red, which meant that it does not meet the award standard.

A follow up visit occurred on December 21.

The follow-up report asserts: “Not only does the park not fulfil even the basic demands of the Green Flag Award, it is far below the standards even the most understanding of the general public should be demanding.

An exceptionally depressing and worrying experience all round.”

The inspector underlined a “major concern in the children’s play area”, claiming little or no protection was provided while maintenance work was taking place.

The report highlights that repair work carried out on children’s play equipment was “poorly executed and of very low standards in terms of finishes and aesthetics”.

It further states: “The entire park is in desperate need of an infrastructure overhaul, with paths and roadways in poor condition leading to the need for everyone to take care where they are walking.”

The council previously affirmed events such as Wireless Festival were not to blame for the suspension of the park’s green flag status.

Though, the December inspection report said: “The events held in the park each year, and the day-to-day usage of the site, cause damage in the short, medium and long term.”

llr Kirsten Hearn, cabinet member for environment, cast doubt on the ratings given by the charity.

She stated: “We want a constructive relationship with Keep Britain Tidy and value the Green Flag scheme – we signed up to it voluntarily to celebrate our parks and to ensure that we are keeping them to the highest standards.

However, we do have concerns about the recent inspections and are asking Keep Britain Tidy for clarity on how the scheme is delivered.

We are not saying our parks are perfect – we know there is work to do. But we are incredibly proud of Haringey’s green spaces and certainly do not feel that, following the round of improvements we have made, these parks are anywhere near the ratings suggested.

Working together is the best way to ensure our parks continue to be a success.”

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