Lack of podium and microphone at Trafalgar Square Events

Meeting: 
MQT on 2014-02-26
Session date: 
February 26, 2014
Reference: 
2014/1125
Question By: 
Joanne McCartney
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

The Chair of the London Forum of Epilepsy Action has contacted me with regards to the Carol service event held in Trafalgar Square in December.  They were dismayed to hear that a new rule has been introduced meaning no podiums or microphones are allowed at the event.  This is the only opportunity that the London Forum of Epilepsy Action have to fundraise each year, and found with a lack of microphone the charity were unable to say their name or announce the next carol, which is unpractical.  What was the reason for this rule change and will you reassess this rule to ensure that charities can fundraise effectively when in Trafalgar Square?

Answer

Answer for Lack of podium and microphone at Trafalgar Square Events

Answer for Lack of podium and microphone at Trafalgar Square Events

Answered By: 
The Mayor

In previous years the stage on Trafalgar Square was used by unauthorised demonstrating groups to attack both the Norwegian Christmas tree and the carol singers.  Therefore it was decided to return to a more traditional format for community groups to sing carols during the Christmas period. 

We have received positive feedback from several of the groups who did perform last year, with some already expressing interest for Christmas 2014.  We had no aggression shown towards the carol singers and as a consequence there were no last minute cancellations as had happened in previous years.  We are therefore not planning to change this format for the forthcoming season.

Before the change was made we did inform all groups of the facilities that would be available before they applied to perform on the square.  We also highlighted the carol singing programme that was taking place simultaneously in Leicester Square, which did have a stage and amplification, and that the groups could apply for both. I will ask my Events Team to follow up specifically with Epilepsy Action.