Labour challenges Tower Hamlets Mayor on Victoria Park festivals

Plans to open Victoria Park in east London to yet more commercial events has been challenged by opposition councillors.

The majority Labour group on Tower Hamlets council today fired a warning shot that independent mayor Lutfur Rahman putting a contract tender out to run 10 festival days a year may not be legal.

Labour would limit them to six if it wins control of the authority at next April’s local elections, pointing out that the council has already voted to limit events and to take steps to reduce noise and crowd capacity.

Opposition leader Sirajul Islam warned: “Companies applying for this contract should be aware that a Labour-run council would take a serious look at the number of events which should be limited to reduce disruption to families living nearby.”

Failure to take account of the council vote earlier this year may leave whoever gets the contract open to legal challenge, he added.

Labour is pressing the mayor at Wednesday’s council meeting for a limit on events at Vicky Park. The contract is estimated to be worth £2 million for the first three years, with a fourth year extension.