Return visits to both Finsbury and Downhills Park were made on the 21st December 2018.
Although the judge acknowledges the progress made at Downhills, they still regard it as "at lowest end of the range of Green Flag Award scores" and recommend strategic investment. Read their report here
For Finsbury Park, the judge has stronger words. The full report is here and is a grim read. They highlight how the use of the park as an entertainment venue has caused serious damage
Finsbury Park is a flagship park in the borough of Haringey and currently it is in very poor condition. The events held in the park each year, and the day to day usage of the site cause damage in the short, medium and long term. The repairs that are currently being carried out on site appear to be ad-hoc and not part of a long term management and maintenance plan. In the early 2000’s this site received significant investment from the Heritage Lottery Fund and it is disappointing for this Judge to revisit this site and see this investment has not been built upon.
and they conclude that,
The seriousness of the failings within Finsbury Park goes far beyond the challenges raised by the Green Flag Award. Not only does it not fulfil even the basic demands of the Green Flag Award it is far below the standards even the most understanding of the general public should be demanding. An exceptionally depressing and worrying experience all round.
Naturally LBH have again challenged the findings, deeming them "unfair" and their response and a comment from the cabinet member responsible, Kirsten Hearn, can be found here
Thanks, Hugh. The huge advantage of having timely and independent public reports is that Friends of parks groups and the general public could have gone and seen for themselves far earlier. Instead of having to wait for the Council's 'editorial' which - as we've now learned - blames the messenger.
As I recall when there was a Green Flag raised in - I think - Queens Wood, I heard about a public celebration with a speech (from the Mayor?), with an audience of several councillors, some police officers, numerous staff, and a photographer. Plus cakes with green icing and little flags.
If and when Haringey senior staff and politicians are happy to listen to criticism and act on it, Haringey residents may find the good news more persuasive.
I was wondering the same thing too (about who did the mystery shop)
As far as I'm aware, nobody from Haringey challenged the professional skills, experience and fitness to make the judgements of those awarding the very welcome, celebrated and publicised Green Flags.
Perhaps the anonymous people posting on HoL would like to offer evidence to Haringey's Chief Executive to substantiate what appears to be an ad hominem critique.
Let me please repeat my practical suggestion that if you have any substantial evidence an appropriate course of action would be to you to offer evidence to Haringey's Chief Executive.
I dont’t post anonymously Alan. It’s not wrong to consider the motivations of someone making an assessment is it? As Spider-Man says, it contains quite emotive language and some sweeping statements.
Finsbury Park does have problems and I for one welcome these being highlighted and action being taken to address them. The report does that of course but also is a tad whinging and innacurate (The hazard posed by water courses flowing though the park!) it also makes assumptions with no evidence - like malfunctioning CCTV even thought the shopper then goes on to say that they have no way of knowing if this is true.
I’ve mystery shopped several time before in various jobs and wouldn’t have submitted something like reads like this.
Sure, we know one another's real names and a limited number of things about each other. (In your case which you have chosen to mention on this website.)
But while I might agree or disagree with some of your views and what we consider as facts connected with particular topics, I'm not speculating about your motivations for holding those opinions or accepting certain facts.
On the contrary, my experience of reading your posts on HoL for many years suggests to me that they are likely to be soundly based, measured and helpful.
MRDA (Mandy Rice-Davies) does sometimes apply. But because she referred to an obvious and publicly known personal bias.