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Appendix 4 - Events Approval Large and Major Events 2019


Members considered and approved the proposed Heath events for 2019. The following comments were made:


·         Members were advised that a Hampstead Heath Officer Events Group had been set up to review event applications before bringing them to the HHCC for feedback.


·         Members discussed three of the major events that had applied for 2019: Race for Life, Affordable Art Fair and Night of the10k Personal Bests.


·         In response to a query concerning if business cases considered the costs of hosting the event and whether the Heath made money from hosting, the Superintendent advised that there was a schedule of charges which included a licence or hire fee and the costs incurred by the Heath.


·         It was noted that only staff time was charged for the Night of the10k Personal Bests event with the hire waivered as it was considered of importance to health and wellbeing.


·         A Member was concerned that the Heath was subsidising costs and was at a loss from hosting events. The Chairman requested that the Committee received more detail showing what was being made versus what costs were incurred.


·         A Member noted historic concerns surrounding the arrangement regarding the Affordable Art Fair. He felt that the event earned a lot of money and argued that there was scope for requesting a percentage (5-10%) from the dealers to come to the Heath as they earned significant commission from attending. It was noted that this was a cultural commercial event and not a sporting event and Members agreed that the Fair was not being charged enough. The Chairman advised that the new Open Space Act provided more powers allowing the Corporation to think more commercially.


·         The Deputy Chairman noted that 2019 would mark the 30th year of the Corporation’s custodianship of the Heath and recommended that all organisations put this within their literature when the Heath hosted an event. The Deputy Chairman suggested developing a special logo to commemorate the occasion. The Chairman agreed that this should be part of the events arrangement noting that there had been no mention of the Corporation at the Queen’s Park Day. Members were supportive of this approach.


·         The Chairman did not feel that the chart presented all relevant information needed for the committee to make decisions on events.


·         The Director of Open Spaces gave background on the Events Policy explaining that this separated commercial and charity activity and laid out the costs of ground hire as well as the additional costs of hosting an event that would also be covered. He noted that the Open Spaces Act provided more freedom to pursue a better return and for special events that the Heath supported. Members were advised that they were in a process of change for how events were managed and that the three long running big events had been honoured for 2019. The Director hoped that the Committee would trust Officers to negotiate the financial rewards associated with new events and renegotiation of long-running events.     


·         A Member requested a breakdown of the overarching figures concerning the expense of events for the year and what the Heath needed to raise annually as a regular agenda item for the Committee to assess. The Chairman agreed that transparency was required regarding costs and suggested bringing pie charts to the Committee setting out income and expenditure.


·         A Member suggested charging a turnover rent on top of the base rent for commercial events going forward.


·         In response to a query regarding the licensing of professional dog walkers, the Superintendent advised that this was captured in the Divisional Plan under item 3.6 and details would be coming as a priority project to the next Committee meeting following engagement with dog walkers and assessment of the impact of dogs.




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