Our position on Brockwell Park festivals

The West Norwood Conservative Action Team in Thurlow Park has been contacted by many local residents concerned about Lambeth Labour’s plans to host two large commercial music festivals in Brockwell Park every Summer – Lovebox and FieldDay. We share people’s concerns and are campaigning hard to ensure that these plans are properly consulted on and scrutinised.

Brockwell Park is one of London’s best kept secrets and an important local resource, but Labour’s plot to deny Lambeth council tax payers access to 35% of the park for 41 days every summer is simply unfair. Added to this, the damage done to the park’s facilities, grass and fauna, the increased likelihood of noise pollution, drug misuse and antisocial behaviour by an influx of festival goers is being ignored by the Lambeth Labour elite in a bid to subsidise their gross mismanagement of the council’s finances. The Sunfall Festival held last year with 20,000 people in Brockwell Park caused untold disruption and damage, we want to stop the same mistakes made again in a magnified scale.

Many local coffee shops and restaurant owners that we have spoken to are filled with dread by Labour’s plans, which will see residents denied their local park at the time of the year when it is most used to welcome thousands of festival goers instead who will descend onto Brockwell Park, spending money at visiting fast food stalls rather than in our local small businesses.

Added to this misery, the local infrastructure will be unable to cope with such an influx of revellers.  Lovebox and FieldDay, previously held in Hackney’s Victoria Park, aim to sell more than 40,000 tickets each day. Not only is Victoria Park far larger than Brockwell Park, it also has far better public transport connections. Imagine 40,000 people flocking through Herne Hill train station; or parking locally in narrow residential streets. The area will buckle under the pressure caused by Labour Lambeth’s plans.

Labour Lambeth continue to maintain that their poor finances are forcing them to hire out Brockwell Park to the highest bidder. In reality it is a case of poor financial management on Labour’s part. Their excuses sound hollow when we remember that this is the same Lambeth Labour that has spends £1.5 million on their own spin department to spread out this message. Astoundingly, Lambeth’s events department still ran at a £485,000 loss last year.

Conservatives in Lambeth are putting words into action on this issue. Our councillors have frequently raised concerns about Lambeth Labour’s plans for Brockwell Park at council-level. Locally, Conservative activists are actively engaged with grassroots cross-party groups on this issue, going door-to-door collecting signatures and voicing residents’ concerns about Labour Lambeth’s plot.

But as hard as Conservative activists work locally, we cannot ignore the fact that 92% of Lambeth councillors take the Labour whip and rubber stamp their decisions. They will continue to ignore the concerns of local residents on issues like Brockwell Park, meaning that plans are forced through without public support. In May, we have a real opportunity to change this in Thurlow Park by showing the Lambeth Labour elite that we are worried for the future of our area and by voting Conservative. Make your vote count in May.