Super Saturday Of Sport Told To 'Shush'
Community event may be threatened following noise complaint
The Super Saturday of Sport event is under threat for next year following a breach of the law on using amplification at Turnham Green, according to its organiser.
Over 2,000 local adults and children tried out more than forty sports activities on July 19th but organiser Kirsten Lonsdale was fined for using a PA system, in breach of a ruling on noise for Turnham Green. She says the local complaints may mean the event does not go ahead next year in the same venue.
However Carillion Services, who were involved on behalf of LBH, says it is working to see how to support the borough's annual Saturday of Sport event as well as ensure the LGO settlement conditions relating to Turnham Green Common are followed in the future. (statement below)
The Local Government Ombudsman’s settlement in place for Turnham Green, (1998) has a condition that event organisers are not permitted to have amplification of noise during any event.
The scene duing Super Saturday of Sport- Pic: Kelly Reeves
Kirsten told Chiswickw4.com that she was sorry for breaching the rules and explained that one of the reasons she had a PA on the site was because under Health & Safety rules she needed to be able to evacuate people if there was an emergency.
Last year at their first event, celebrity Clare Balding had used a loudhailer to open the event but Kirsten said this year the event had hugely increased in size. She had to pay the £62 fine out of her own pocket as it is a non-profit event.
"'I'm not looking for sympathy, I know I broke the rules but what I find upsetting is that a small number of people are objecting to a community event that gives a lot of fun to people and is only on for a few hours during the day. I've put in six months of my own time, I'm not making money out of this, and I don't know if it will go ahead next year."
She said using another venue was not an easy option as the event was given the use of Christ Church as indoor space and use of the toilets as well as the use of the Town Hall. To move somewhere else would require considerable financial investment.
A local man had complained about the amplified noise during the afternoon on behalf of residents living in a nearby block of apartments. Chiswickw4.com has emailed the relevant individual for comment and we are awaiting a reply.
Last September, the proposed 'Silent Cinema' pop up event with a planned food market was not allowed on Turnham Green after objection from two councillors- to the dismay of local groups
Sam Harrison of Sam's Brasserie and Bar, said: "We think the Super Saturday was an amazing event and we loved being part of it- It is exactly the sort of local/ community event that we should be encouraging in Chiswick- the perfect summer's Saturday afternoon. Kirsten put so much work and effort in to this and she bought so much enjoyment to a great number of people. It is also the kind of event that makes Chiswick unique- very few areas of London can pull off events like this.
"I think it is very important that in a community such as Chiswick we all try and work together- residents/ local businesses/ community events- we all have to share the environment we live in and we all need each other for the area to continue to grow and thrive. It seems such a shame that the wishes of a few in Chiswick are able to halt many of the Government stated policies, ie fostering small businesses, entrepreneurship, creating engaged communities, a legacy of sport and tackling inactivity. As with everything in life, balance is the key and finding a way of working together.
"I think it would be very wrong if Kirsten was unable to run this event again and such a shame and loss for Chiswick, if she was forced to take it somewhere else”
Movie star Sebastien Foucan shows how he does his free-running and stunts - pic:Kelly Reeves
A spokesperson for Carillion Services, who were involved on behalf of LBH said: "Unfortunately on Saturday 19 th July 2014 there was a breach of The local Government Ombudsman’s settlement in place for Turnham Green, in as much as, a condition of the LGO settlement is that event organisers are not permitted to have amplification of noise during any event. This is made known to all third parties who apply to hold an event on Turnham Green and any site specific requirements are also included within the park hire agreement.
"There has always been a good working relationship with the organisers of Saturday of Sport and we are keen to continue to support and encourage the development and growth of this event in the borough. It is a fantastic community event, with great connections with local groups, businesses and individuals across Hounslow, not to mention getting children and families active and engaged in sports and fulfils a very real purpose in Hounslow.
"We have raised this with the organisers and the stakeholders to establish how we can continue to support the borough's annual Saturday of sport event as well as ensure the LGO settlement conditions relating to Turnham Green Common are followed in the future."
Images credit: Kelly Reeves
July 31, 2014