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TOPIC: A festival too far?

A festival too far?
08 Aug 2022 18:54 #6538

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Darren Edgar wrote (message 6535) :

Council have also now confirmed this event is being rejected. Organisers were set a list of conditions to satisfy and haven't therefore permission is being withdrawn.


Unless you've seen something that I haven't, this isn't quite right. As reported in Enfield Dispatch , the council has asked the organisers to withdraw their application and Palmers Green councillor Chris James has said she's "confident" that it won't happen even if the organisers don't withdraw.

I'd started writing my own report when the Dispatch pipped me to the post (I'm still doing some checking before publishing it). I haven't seen anything about a list of conditions that the organisers can't satisfy. My information suggests that the council gave the go-ahead months ago, but have now changed their mind because of complaints.

Correction: Looking again at Chris James' wording, I think that Darren's summary above is fine - though it's unclear whether the council are actually able at this late stage to "withdraw permission". See my new report at www.pgweb.uk/planning-all-subjects/pg-town-centre-improvements/3416-councillor-i-am-confident-that-oktoberfest-will-not-be-going-ahead.

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A festival too far?
11 Aug 2022 07:27 #6543

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Whilst I agree that it is worth looking at age related attitudes and objections in this case I don't think this does create undue influence. What is proposed is an event that is likely to overwhelme facilities. Also worth pointing out that a demographic whose park use could suffer badly are the under 12s and their playground. An absent voice on this.
The older demographic are not uniformly fun police. Support for the skate park proposal, for example, is not confined to the young.

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A festival too far?
11 Aug 2022 09:04 #6544

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Support for the skate park may not be confined to the young, but opposition is certainly confined to the old.

As for this event, it is not an evening do? Under 12s aren't playing on the swings at 9pm (I take my 2 year old there often but never after 5pm...). The event is aimed at 18-40, I'd say, and those aren't the voices of opposition. Whilst this is another example of poor Enfield Council planning & consultation, the event looked to be great fun and I'd already started inviting friends down to it.

The issue with consultation though, and the over-representation of certain demographics, is unlike YouGov that are statistical experts that properly sort, rank and weight their data, inevitably any basic local government consultation will get over-run by old people complaining against something as that's what's seen to be the purpose of consultation. Silent voices of support won't get heard.

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A festival too far?
11 Aug 2022 09:05 #6545

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Basil Clarke wrote (message 6537) :

Darren Edgar wrote (message 6534) :

Whilst the Council has again consulted poorly, feels a bit like Merkur where they just tried to brush it under the carpet, the hyperbole on here is absolutely staggering.

Out of interest, of those complaining, anyone under 40??


Thank you. Much better articulated than me.
While I disagree with Darren's view that objections to this particular event are greatly exaggerated (well, I would do, wouldn't I ? - I'm 40 + 31 years old), I think his point about people's ages is a good one, and not just on Palmers Green Community. Older people are over represented on residents' associations and other "civic sector" groups - which is inevitable, because younger people have their hands full looking after kids and trying to earn a living, or if they're not yet at that stage they're busy with their social lives. But it's obviously important to think about how things impact on them, and on kids too, as they're the people who'll be around in the future living with the consequences of decisions made now.

I sympathise with the view that people of my generation, the baby boomers, are in many ways guilty of denying younger people the things that we had. We grew up at a time when kids were free to roam without being constantly chaperoned, at school we weren't under such pressure to get A grades, then we enjoyed completely free university and college education, which we finished at a time when there were plenty of jobs. A much higher proportion of jobs at that time paid enough to actually build up savings. Rents were very low compared to now, and when we were in our late 20s or early 30s we could afford to get on the housing market. As for food banks, they would have been unimaginable.

Over the decades, government policies have helped take away many of these opportunities for generations that came after us. And who are the people who've been electing those governments? Us, of course.

I haven't looked into this, but I bet if you look at the age profiles of people responding to various government and council consultations, you'll find that they're skewed towards older people, when it's younger people, and especially those who are now children, who'll have to live with the consequences of us looking after our own immediate interests - polluted air, polluted rivers, road danger and noise, and above all, the climate catastrophe that is already starting to happen.

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A festival too far?
11 Aug 2022 09:17 #6546

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First a disclaimer: I do not live in Palmers Green and would be unaffected by any "disorder" or ASB resulting from Oktoberfest. So "obvs" anything I say can be discounted on that basis.
However (you sensed that coming) after long cogitation about the OktoberFest, I think it is a shame to dismiss it out of hand - as an idea. This is completely separate from whether it is/would have been organised properly with appropriate security, loos, extra transport &c. Although largely brilliantly maintained by dedicated teams of volunteers, Broomfield Park remains a public park and it should always be a positive notion to arrange large-scale events there - such as the Palmers Green Festival or the funfairs. Opening up the Park as a leisure venue to a large number of people who may never have visited it before leads to at least the possibility of more involvement in its care.
Naturally if an event like OktoberFest were held and it proved highly troublesome (however judged), there will be a pile-in from those who campaigned against it, but in the real world sometimes things have to be given a chance. It is only by trying something that the actual results, positive and negative, can be assessed (rather than imagined), and it is essential for future improvements on such events that the actual problems can then be understood - and ameliorated.
There is also something generally to be said for encouraging large gatherings intended for fairly uncomplicated enjoyment in our public spaces. I think here of the Ally Pally Fireworks or London-held music festivals. All generate short-term inconvenience for locals but in general the locality benefits - or so I would contend.

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A festival too far?
11 Aug 2022 12:14 #6547

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Re the comments about age profiles – that is an interesting issue. I think it is a given that most people (there are exceptions such as young councillors) only take an interest in local affairs due to having more time, different responsibilities etc. when they are above a certain age. I didn't have any involvement in anything like that until I moved to Enfield at the age of 59. But another factor, is whether it is the opinion of residents that influences these decisions or it is about the target audience for the event as they could be both and the same. According to the latest stats the average age of people in Enfield is 39.3 yrs. My guess is that many of those who want to attend are under 40. Trouble is,nobody has the time to do a survey of the under 40's in the borough to find out what they think but based simply on the council's track record with large scale events (such as those at Trent Park) I wouldn't touch the Oktoberfest with a bargepole.

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A festival too far?
11 Aug 2022 12:24 #6549

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Darren,
You may not have read the license application (now withdrawn) It was for two weekends a year, Fridays 1500-2230, Saturdays 1100-2230, Sundays 1200-2100. So a clear clash with us of the childrens' playground.

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A festival too far?
11 Aug 2022 16:38 #6550

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There’s a general comparison of sorts ( #6546 ) of Broomfield Park’s use for the PG Festival (and other family events in large public spaces) and the beerfest.
Looking specifically at the PGF, one is a volunteer run, non-profit, family friendly extravaganza, set up by this community for this community, with free access to all, built up over time, which sets up and puts away all infrastructure within the same day - with no park damage - and can table an excellent track record (and risk plan). The other charges for entry, is not available to a large segment of the population, is self-evidently profit driven and seeks to bus non-PG residents into a family park basically to get bladdered.
Chalk and cheese and a bit of horses for courses in my mind.

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