Potters Field (Licensing) Litigation

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Sunday 17 June 2007 5.13am
For those of you who thought it was all over, the Licencee has appealed against the conditions imposed by the Licensing sub-committee on 4 May 2007. The case comes on for preliminary hearing first on 2 July at Camberwell Magistrates Court.

I have also appealed the Licence granted.

It has been decided by council officers to unilaterally change the conditions of the licence with regard to notification of events according to Mr Cornford of Potters Fields (sic) Management Trust.

Here are July's events :

3 July - screening live from the Royal Opera of 'Tosca' ending at 2230h (setup from 1200-1400)

7 July - Private Party Norton Rose 0700-1700 (with deliveries pm 6 July)

21 July - City Chase 0700-1900
Sunday 17 June 2007 10.49am
Hello mate,

How do you go about challenging these events?

Who are Potters Fields Management Trust, and how were they appointed?
Monday 18 June 2007 6.18am
I'm afraid it is no too late to challenge the individual events as we used to be able to.
The Potters Fields (sic) Management Trust was leased the park by Council in a yet to be exposed dodgy deal. The 'Trust' includes representatives from Council, More London, London Bridge Business Improvement District, Mayor of LondON and Norton Rose, who lord it over the park now and pay NOTHING for the privilege.
The 'business' plan if you can call it that, is to hold events to pay the costs of upkeep to the park.
The Licence, which has no expiry date, and its conditions can be viewed on www.southwark.gov.uk where in the licensing section you an also download a complaints form should any event cause you inconvenience.
If there are sufficient objecions, you can call for a review of the Licence, but reviews are at the discretion of council officers, so don't hold your breath.
The court proceedings can only include those who previously objected and the licencee.
Monday 18 June 2007 8.40am
Hmmm

The new Licensing Act seems to have been strongly influenced by powerful lobbies. OK, I read the Daily Mail which ran a whole series of stories which suggested the new Act was going to destroy the fabric of Britain. I would not go so far, but my understanding is that in some of the processes (eg to withdraw a license)if the Council loses, the Council will have to pay costs. I dont know if this is true with an appeal, but if it is then the licensee will be motivated to put forward an expensive team.

Any appeal will be evidence based. So the first step is to complain. First seek clarification from the licensing committee about the ability of officers to arbitrarily change the conditions. Write to those Councillors who appeared sympathetic. Then as many as possible complain to the noise officer abut any deviation to those terms. (Circulate the number to residents.) And (spot the twitchy net curtains) keep notes of the events, what time they finished and particularly what time the clear up finished and people went home.

The aim is to get the right balance between events and residents. There is an active policy of encouraging residential development in the inner city as this generates life and safety....and property values. The licensing committee appear to have decided to try to strike a reasonable balance which could always have been extended should the events agreed to prove not to be a problem.

However, and sadly, it appears that the licensee is pushing the boundaries. Which leaves you having to defend them.

This is part of the big battle for public space in the area. A similar battle has been going on around Jubilee Gardens. (There are one or two really quite funny stories which cant be repeated here, and not funny for those who live next door and who have been fighting the good fight for ages.) The balance between the needs of employers, land owners, visitors and residents is also at the core of the, nasty, Founders Place/Archbishops Park fight.

I dont know how to get the message across to Lambeth/Southwark and Ken, that residents fight to ensure SE1 is a good place to live, and so should have a proper voice, rather than be drowned out by the so-called "stakeholders". (Think Berni Inns, salad garnish and chips.)
Monday 18 June 2007 1.19pm
Why should Norton Rose not be able to use Potters Fields? I bet that each year it pays more taxes and does more pro bono work in the area than what the bemoaners on this thread will pay and do in their entire lives.

Moreover, I don't think the Mayor should be taking advice from someone who reads the Daily Mail (and admits to it).
Monday 18 June 2007 2.34pm
designateddriver wrote:
Why should Norton Rose not be able to use Potters Fields? I bet that each year it pays more taxes and does more pro bono work in the area than what the bemoaners on this thread will pay and do in their entire lives.
Moreover, I don't think the Mayor should be taking advice from someone who reads the Daily Mail (and admits to it).

Norton Rose are taking over a public space for their own private ends with no benefit for the public for whom the park is intended. The thing is than when most large companies hold a jolly for their own private ends they have the good grace not to hijack a public space and hire a private space.

So what if Norton Rose pay more tax than local people, that's what big companies do. It shouldn't buy them a divine right over public facilities which local people also contribute to through their taxes. Would you advocate ignoring the views of the poor because they don't pay as much tax as the rich? The principle is the same.

As for dismissing someone's views because they read the Daily Mail (which I'm not personally a fan of, incidentally) that's a bit cheap and ignorant, not to mention childish.
Monday 18 June 2007 2.57pm
scamp wrote:
Norton Rose are taking over a public space for their own private ends with no benefit for the public for whom the park is intended.

I have no information to the contrary but are you sure that Norton Rose have not paid to hire the park? I would be extremely surprised if they were getting the use of it for free.
Monday 18 June 2007 4.29pm
scamp wrote:
Norton Rose are taking over a public space for their own private ends with no benefit for the public for whom the park is intended. The thing is than when most large companies hold a jolly for their own private ends they have the good grace not to hijack a public space and hire a private space.

So what if Norton Rose pay more tax than local people, that's what big companies do. It shouldn't buy them a divine right over public facilities which local people also contribute to through their taxes. Would you advocate ignoring the views of the poor because they don't pay as much tax as the rich? The principle is the same.

As for dismissing someone's views because they read the Daily Mail (which I'm not personally a fan of, incidentally) that's a bit cheap and ignorant, not to mention childish.

How many days a year are they hiring the park? Are they hiring the whole park or a section of it? They've already invsted heavily in the area why object to them spending more money here on their jollies?

I don't share the upset of others that these events in the park will create; a viewing of an opera, a corporate event, and a daft running/ adventure day, all of which finish by 2230. Let them have their fun.
Tuesday 19 June 2007 2.10pm
norton rose are paying for this event and they do not sit on the potters field park management trust.
Tuesday 19 June 2007 3.46pm
Agree with Jonathan K.

There seems to be a real mean streak from people slagging off "suits". Just because large companies are nearby doesn't mean that they are "taking over the park" - they enjoy using it just like you or I. And don't you want them to invest in local facilities rather than taking their cash elsewhere?

Anyway, if you don't like the way the park is being run, then you should speak to one of the three community "representatives" on the Trust, one of whom is the leader of the Council. Or get in touch with the Director. Perhaps more effective than slagging the Trust off on a forum thread. Just a thought.
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