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25 October 2011

25 October 2011 – Greenwich Council Licensing Committee grant licence to Applicant who does not know what the maximum safe capacity of Greenwich Park is

You couldn’t make it up, and now you don’t have to.

To recap: in 2006, the maximum number of people to be in the Park at any one time, under a premises licence granted to The Royal Parks for showing films (no alcohol to be sold), was 19,999.

In 2012, there will be much less standing room in the Park than there was in 2006 or since (in normal times), because of all the Olympic stuff: stadium, stabling for 200-300 horses, broadcasting compound, loos, cabling, jumps, hospitality tents etc etc.

Seems obvious, then, that the maximum safe number during the Olympics will be less than 19,999.

In reply to a Freedom of Information request (RFI/03626, submitted in early October 2011), Greenwich Council said that “It is therefore the responsibility of the organiser of the event, LOCOG, to calculate how many people can be safely accommodated in Greenwich Park on cross country day “.

Yet when, during that part of the Licensing Committee of 19 October 2011 that was held in public, LOCOG representatives were asked to clarify what the maximum safe capacity of the Park is, LOCOG’s venue manager, Jeremy Edwards, remained silent.

Sitting next to Jeremy Edwards was LOCOG’s solicitor, Mr Phipps, who told the Licensing Committee to “Ask the Fire Brigade”.

So at the time of the hearing of their licensing application, LOCOG had not calculated how many people can be safely accommodated in Greenwich Park on cross-country day.

As there is no sign of the Council “asking the Fire Brigade”, either, we have done so, as a Freedom of Information request.

Sally Elliott

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