Drinking in London Fields. (FOI-6183)
Dear ***** *****
Re: Freedom of Information Request /Environmental Information Request
Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, received 04/07/2020. Your request has been considered and our response is in bold below.
You requested the following:
Hackney Council (LBH) has sought an injunction to prevent drinking in London Fields. LBH has a duty under section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 to consider disproportionate impacts on parties with a relevant protected characteristic.
Around London Fields there resides a large number of young people who are far more likely to live in overcrowded accommodation such as shared houses and families occupying small flats. They have lacked proper social contact and interaction for 4 months now. Young people have been demonstrated to be at very low risk from COVID but are worst hit by the economic impacts of lockdown and there are existing well-reported widespread problems with anxiety in that age group, worsened by the lockdown. This group of young people constitutes a protected characteristic for the purposes of the 2010 Act.
Access to open space has proven mental health benefits, particularly for young people who are identified above. Thus restricting their use of and undertaking of social activities in London Fields has a disproportionate impact on this protected characteristic group.
I order for LBH to comply with its section 149 duty there should be a written record of the Council considering the disproportionate impacts on parties with protected characteristics as set out above, and this should have formed part of the decision making to seek an injunction and should have been recorded prior to that decision being made.
Please provide a copy of any such written records in accordance with your statutory disclosure obligations.
The Council’s Response
Please see the attached Equality Impact Assessment. While intended as a last resort, the injunction granted by the High Court is aimed at limiting the antisocial behaviour caused by drinking and large-scale music events. This interim injunction order and power of arrest will last until 4 pm on Friday 16 October 2020 unless extended, varied or discharged by further order of the Court. The current injunction is in place for a temporary period in order to deal with the very serious, immediate issue impacting on residents, while the Council seeks to engage further with the local community and businesses on the issues and considers longer-term options to ensure the park is safe and inclusive and with which we are sure you will wish to engage in.
The Community Safety & Enforcement Team considered the likely effects the introduction of this injunction may have had and looked to take steps to prevent or minimise any likely harmful effects especially on persons who share any of the characteristics that are protected under the Equality Act. A written Equality Impact Assessment was completed and provided to the High Court.
Appeals & Complaints Procedure
If you are dissatisfied with this response and wish to appeal, please reply to this email and this will be dealt with through our Internal Review procedure.
Your request should be submitted to us within 40 working days of receipt by you of this response. Any request received after this time will only be considered at the discretion of the Council.
If you are still not satisfied following the Internal Review, you have a right to appeal to the Information Commissioners:
Information Commissioner"s Office
0303 123 1113
Information Management Team
London Borough of Hackney