Wandsworth Labour councillors will not support the return of Formula E to Battersea Park next summer.
Councillor Rex Osborn, Wandsworth Labour leader, said: “We feel that the Conservative council are trying to steamroller through a decision to welcome Formula E back to Battersea Park against the very strong opposition by local residents who feel this is absolutely not the right event to be hosted in this Grade II listed park.
“There is a long list of ways in which Formula E did not organise the event in the way they had promised and we don’t feel that very much would improve if it happens again.”
A council report showed that 62% of local residents opposed the event and there were very serious concerns about safety, noise and lengthy disruption to Battersea Park during three normally busy summer weeks.
The event proved far more disruptive to Battersea Park users than was anticipated, according to local groups, a large petition and the council’s own public consultation.
Wandsworth councillors will make the decision on the future of Formula E in Battersea Park at a Town Hall committee meeting on November 24.
Formula E had promised an environmentally significant event with a short set-up and take-down time. However the event was beset with problems including: lack of consultation with residents; a much longer and more disruptive and unsafe set-up time; more reduced access to the park than expected; heavy machinery to create the concrete race barriers; excessive noise from loudspeakers and helicopters.
There had been plans to increase provision of electric power points in the borough and directly support the use of electric cars, but this has not happened. Wandsworth Labour remains very supportive the development of electric vehicles and appreciates the environmental aims of Formula E. While the races proved an enjoyable event for those who attended, Battersea Park is not the right venue for a motor racing event of this scale.
Councillor Fleur Anderson, Community Services Committee Spokesperson said: “Wandsworth Council needs to take consultations with residents seriously and if they do so, they cannot continue with this event.”
“We have had a steady stream of emails from local residents opposing this event very strongly and claiming that they have not had any response from the Leader of the Council. The council has also not said how it would spend the revenue from the event, so residents cannot put up with this amount of disruption to their local park if they cannot see any benefit.”