Is Southwark Blaineless?

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Tuesday 28 October 2003 10.31am
Has normality returned to the area post Blaine?

I have noticed a remarkable decline in the number of ratboys and girls in the area...
Tuesday 28 October 2003 7.02pm
The area seems to be recovering post blaine madness.
Thank God for that!
I feel safe on my own street again.
Can`t wait to see potters fields back to its green glory though, I just hope Sky1 fulfill thier promise to repair the site.

Jo
Tuesday 28 October 2003 11.02pm
It won't be Sky who repair the site, but Southwark Council.

The more important questions are: how much money did Southwark receive from Sky (and any others) in the end from this event? How much of a restitution bond did Sky pay to the Council? What is the timescale for the restitution works taking place? Will the money Southwark received from the hire be spent on the forthcoming works to improve the park, or will it disappear into the usual black hole of unaccountability?

It's time we had some answers to these questions and not just apologies for underestimating the number of people attending. I'd like to suggest that James or Southwark News or the SLP take this up with the Council's press office.

Andrew
Vice-chair
Tooley Street T&RA



Post edited (28 Oct 03 23:03)
Wednesday 29 October 2003 1.42pm
I recently complained to Southwark Council regarding the damage that occurred to Potters Field during the D.B stunt & got this reply - lets hope they stick to it!

'Potters Field was identified as being in need of refurbishment long before permission was given for the David Blaine stunt. Our plan was, and still is, to refurbishment the park early next year. Before any refurbishment takes place there will be a period of consultation with local residents about exactly what sort of park they want. I will pass your details to our parks department so that you can be invited to join in that consultation.

I apologise on behalf of the council that the David Blaine event has spoilt your enjoyment of Potter's Field. As the Leader of the Council has publicly stated had we known how the event would grow before granting permission it is likely a different decision would have been taken. We consulted with the Tooley St residents association who we normally consult for any events in Potters Fields. Had we realised the numbers of people who would have attended we would also have done more widespread consultation. For that I can only apologise, this is a one off event and as such predicting the numbers of people who would attend was impossible. Mr Blaine's previous stunts in the USA attracted only a couple of hundred people, not the estimated 55, 000 who have come to see him here. The event ends on Sunday evening and the site will return to normal soon after that. As I said in my opening paragraph you and all local residents can look forward to a newly refurbished park early next year.'

Wednesday 29 October 2003 8.12pm
I can confirm too that the Park will be refurbished next year, having recently been involved in discussions relating to this.

However, as for the claim by the Council that they consulted with the Association, they were extremely clear that by the time they asked my opinion, on behalf of the Tooley Street Tenants & Residents Association, that Southwark Property had already agreed the deal with Sky for use of the coach park (where the crane was located). The Parks department merely sought my views about ameliorating the impact on the park, which is classic bit of 'closing the stable door after the horse has bolted'. The relevant excerpt from the email exchange with the Parks Department is reproduced below, with my question to them first, followed by their reply indicated by the square brackets:

>Please could you also let me know if this your email is to consult
>theTooley Street T&RA over the potential use of Potters Field Park
>for this event or if it is simply notification of something that will
>take place because the Council has decided to allow it to take place?
>
>[It is with the use of the park that I would like your input.
>Permission has already been given for Sky to use the car park but I
>want to make sure that we talk to the correct people about the use
>on the 2 event days.]

By the '2 event days' Southwark meant that they only anticipated a significant number of visitors to the park on the day that Blaine entered and left the box.

I also raised then the question of where the money Southwark received from the event would be spent. Again, the Council's reply is in the square brackets - it was copied to various senior officers and councillors, hence the reference to them 'hearing my thoughts' (I know they're not telepathic!):

>I would have thought - as Cllr Stanton suggested in his earlier email
>- the fee income to the Council will be substantial. Such a sum could
>be used to pay for the preliminary-design public consultation on the
>future design of the park, thereby saving the scarce s.106 funding
>for the works themselves. I would be grateful if you or Cllr Stanton
>could make clear the particular 'pot' into which this income will be
>put.
>
>[Unfortunatley I'm not high enough up the council ladder to make
>those decisions but I'm sure through your email your thoughts are
>being heard]
>
>As for the restitution fee, I think you should be ensuring that
>sufficient is paid over for proper re-seeding of the grass which will
>inevitably damaged by the additional visitors and vehicles in the
>park - including the cost of properly protecting the re-seeded areas
>while it germinates. I think it would also be advisable to ensure
>that the restitution bond covers potential damage to the trees and
>shrubbery in the park.
>
>[The reinstatement agreement to be made with Sky will certainly
>include damage to grass, trees and other permenant features of the
>site]

I look forward, as I suggested in my earlier post, to a journalist beginning to pursue this on our behalf. They might also want to ask for a copy of the restitution agreement between Sky and the Council.

Andrew
Vice-chair
Tooley Street T&RA
Monday 3 November 2003 4.05pm
on a lighter note, I just bought the David Blaine doll from Toys-R-Us, but I couldn't get the damn thing out of the box.........

Monday 10 November 2003 9.03pm
http://www.london-se1.co.uk/news/view/713



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