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City Matters 103

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Page 4 | 24 July - 06

Page 4 | 24 July - 06 August 2019 News Matters New mental health centre on its way to the Square Mile TAVISTOCK RELATIONSHIPS has won the contract to deliver a new three-year pilot mental health centre in the Square Mile. The City of London Corporation’s community and children’s services committee has finalised plans for the facility, which will provide a range of clinical treatments to tackle mental ill health. It is due to open in 2020. Tavistock Relationships is a London-based service that provides therapeutic services which are accessible for all who need them, including lower paid workers. Although a paid-for service, the centre will deliver subsidised mental health and wellbeing support for residents and workers on low incomes, such as psychotherapy, and improve access to treatments that are not available through the NHS. Affordable The City Corporation is backing the project with £700,000 in funding. Randall Anderson, chairman of the community and children’s services committee, said: “We are delighted that Tavistock Relationships will be running the City Corporation’s first centre dedicated to supporting good mental health among our residents and workers. “The devastating effect that mental health issues can have on work and family life, as well as the importance of early intervention with treatment, are rightly rising up the agenda. “We hope that City residents and workers will really benefit from this new, affordable service right on their doorstep.” General Election may clash with Mayoral vote CITY Hall is preparing for the possibility of a General Election on the same day as the London Mayoral vote next year, writes Jessie Mathewson, Local Democracy Reporter. The Capital is set to elect the Mayor and London Assembly on 7 May 2020 – but with uncertainty around the date of the next national election, a clash remains possible, according to officials. City Hall chief executive Mary Harpley, speaking at the GLA oversight committee, said she was “very clear” that the prospect of CITYMATTERS.LONDON LOCALS VOW TO CONTINUE FIGHTING AGAINST EVENT RESIDENTS have vowed to fight on after the team behind the Lovebox music event won permission to stage a festival for up to 50,000 music lovers per day, writes Julia Gregory, Local Democracy Reporter. MAMA Festivals, who are famed for staging Lovebox in Victoria Park as well as other festivals including Wilderness, the Citadel and The Great Escape, will be allowed to hold a weekend event at Wanstead Flats in September next year. Noise However, residents are concerned about noise, traffic and any possible impact on skylarks which live in the popular open space. The land is owned by the City of London Corporation, which gave permission for the concerts to go ahead as a pilot. They will run between 12noon to 12pm on each of the three days. Initially, MAMA applied to stage a series of events there this summer, and in future years, featuring big name bands such as Stereophonics, The Prodigy, and singer-songwriter George Ezra. Several meetings were held with residents last year to discuss their concerns. The City’s Epping Forest and commons committee gave the go-ahead to the weekend of concerts earlier this month. MAMA will city_matters Festival is not music to the ears of residents controversial: residents are pushing back on proposals for a music festival in Wanstead Flats also have to get premises licence approval from Redbridge Council, which will look at issues such as noise and the impact on residents. Katherine Gundersen, who set up a petition contesting the event on the 38 Degrees website, said: “I will certainly be exploring legal avenues to challenge the decision.” The petition has already been signed by more than 465 people. Ms Gundersen said: “Such a large scale event is inappropriate. It is too big and it is also a site of nature conservation.” The City commissioned an environmental impact report and decided September would be a suitable time for the event as it avoids the nesting period for skylarks, which are on the UK’s red list of birds which need the most protection. Head of conservation at Epping, Jeremy Dagley, said “there would be no direct impact” on breeding birds. He also pointed out that the Corporation has staged other events, including firework displays at the ‘Fireground Site’ for 20,000 to 30,000 people. The police used the site as a base during the 2012 Olympics. However, the festival will be staged at a different part of Wanstead Flats off Aldersbrook Road in Wanstead. Frances Stacey, who lives nearby said: “They have not really considered people. There were so many people when they had a Mela concert on the Flats. We had stewards down the end of our road and we could not get in or out.” Last year Parliament approved new legislation giving the City extra powers to hold events which need strict events policies. Helen Zammett, from Wanstead and Snaresbrook Residents’ Association, said: “I am so disgusted. I am totally against having 50,000 people arriving per day. It’s too much.” Consultation A spokesperson for the City of London Corporation said: “The City Corporation has received a proposal from MAMA Festivals Ltd for a three-day music event at Wanstead Flats in September 2020. Elected Members have agreed in principle that the event can be held at the site. “The event organisers will now need to apply to the London Borough of Redbridge for a licence to hold the event and conduct a full public consultation. “They will also be required to mitigate against any environmental issues in order for the event to go ahead. “Epping Forest is a registered charity and if the event were to proceed, all surplus income will be reinvested in the management of the forest.” a General Election next May “remains a risk”. UK voters normally choose MPs every five years, meaning another election is not due until 2022. But with a minority Conservative government relying on votes from the Democratic Unionist Party, and continuing parliamentary divisions over Brexit, the possibility of a snap General Election remains. Labour Assembly Member Len Duvall, who chairs the GLA oversight committee, described the situation as “a disaster waiting to happen”. Mr Duvall added that counting two major votes at the same time would only “add to the complexity on the day”.

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