Report of the Superintendent of Hampstead Heath.
The Group considered a report of the Superintendent of Hampstead Heath outlining a proposal to introduce Zippos Circus to Queen’s Park during a number of consecutive days in May 2016. The Park Manager advised that the recommended option from Officers was to permit a licence for one year with a review after the event and consideration for further circus events to be permitted in Queen’s Park on an annual basis.
A member (Queen’s Park Area Residents’ Association) stated that she and the Residents’ Association disagreed with the proposal to introduce the Circus due to concerns over the following matters: the condition of the lawn following the event; the additional large vehicles from the Circus causing congestion in and around the Park; and was it necessary as Zippos already held circuses at the nearby Grange Park and in Brent Cross. In response to a Member’s question regarding the consultation process, the Park Manager advised that a member of the Residents’ Association had viewed the Zippos Circus event in Twickenham with him and had expressed support for the Queen’s Park proposal following discussions with the local Twickenham ‘Friends’ Group. He had also received additional positive feedback from another member of the Residents’ Association who witnessed the Circus in Twickenham.
At this point the Chairman invited the observers from the ARK Franklin Primary Academy, Friends of Salusbury School, and the Queen’s Park Ward of the Kensal Rise Residents’ Association to speak on the matter. The ARK Franklin Primary Academy Governor echoed the Queen’s Park Area Residents’ Association’s member’s concerns regarding vehicular congestion in and around the Park and suggested that further consultations should be carried out as local residents may not be fully aware of the proposed event. She added that alternative income generating events could take place at the Café during the evening or could include a Park Firework display in November 2016. The Park Manager advised that local residents would be consulted further as soon as possible.
The representatives of the Friends of Salusbury School and Kensal Rise Residents’ Association agreed with the previously mentioned concerns regarding the introduction of the Circus. The representative from Kensal Rise Residents’ Association noted that a similar circus was also held at Roundwood Park and suggested that a Halloween event could generate income for the Park due to the popularity of recent nearby street events. The Chair of the Friends of Salusbury School added that an alternative one day event would be more appropriate to the Park than the proposed five day event.
In response to questions from the Deputy Chairman, the Park Manager advised that Zippos Circus would arrive late on the Thursday and leave the following Tuesday, whilst vehicle movements would be limited. He added that negotiations regarding the fee from Zippos Circus had not started yet but he expected to receive in the region of £4,500 for the event. The Deputy Chairman and the other Queen’s Park Area Residents’ Association member professed their support for the recommended option but noted concerns with ground conditions following the event and the amount of space it would occupy in the Park.
The Superintendent and Park Manager noted the Group’s comments and concerns. They concluded by advising that a bond would be agreed with Zippos Circus to guard against any ground damage. A Member added that she was confident in the ability of the Park Team to repair and restore the ground following the event.
RESOLVED – That the Group’s feedback on the proposal to enter into a licence agreement with Zippos Circus to hold circus events at Queen’s Park be conveyed to the Hampstead Heath, Highgate Wood and Queen’s Park Committee.