In June 2019, I posted my ongoing concern about single use plastic advertising boards for local events for local park, school events, etc during the Summer.
Blythe Hill Fields Festival 2019, for example, had the ongoing support of Estate Agent, Hunters Catford.
I posted a Google Review asking Hunters Catford to outline why recyclable materials, like cardboard, were not used for such fleeting events.
I’ve just received Hunters Catford response [it’s now October!].
I’ve copied my Google review from June 2019 and Hunters Catford response from 3rd October 2019 in full for your response.
"My review relates exclusively to Hunters providing ongoing financial sponsorship to the Blythe Hill Fields Festival [organised for over 12 years by the volunteer, park user group - the ‘Friends’ of Blythe Hill Fields] and the installation of single use plastic advertising signage for the annual Festivals, which are basically non re-useable, estate agent type boards relating to a specific event on a specific date.
I am the Chair of neighbouring Ravensbourne Park Gardens and was a previous member of the Friends of Blythe Hill Fields. I’ve witnessed since 2006 that their park improvements aims are limited by the time and energy spent on organising their 5 hour per year July Festival and that private sponsorship for their Festivals have no link whatsoever to raising funds for year on year park improvement initiatives.
Hunters Estate Agency has provided financial sponsorship to the ‘Friends’ July Festival for about 3 years. None of your sponsorship funding has been specifically ‘ring fenced’ for any specific, year on year park improvement - if I’m not correct, then I will offer my express apology to your firm.
However, since the official ‘Friends’ website is again silent on park improvement for the remainder of 2019, then it is clear to me that Hunters Estate Agency has provided financial sponsorship to the July Festival without full consideration, beyond your advertising budget, to our local community.
If your firm is committed to our community, then I trust that you can commit to providing any future sponsorship for any local community event based on your understanding from the organisers that part of your funding will be used for a specific target improvement.
Hunters Estate Agency provide advertising signage, which is placed outside resident properties on resident’s acceptance. As indicated in the above, each sign is printed on what appears to be non-recycled plastic [i.e. single use plastic]. As the annual Festival is a fleeting event, I would expect a local business to print on recyclable cardboard, not single use plastic. And, that any other fleeting event sponsored by Hunters should be responding to ongoing, public concerns over single use plastic.
I would appreciate your response on what happened to your Festival advertising signage now it’s been taken down.
Did your firm ensure that any part of the post, strapping and plastic signage was either re-used/recycled? And, would your firm agree to print on recyclable cardboard for any future sponsorship initiatives?
In my view, Hunters Estate Agency has failed to engage with the ‘Friends’ to ensure year on year, park improvement legacy from it’s annual sponsorship, which would benefit our local community.
On the issue of single use plastic - Hunters Estate Agency appears to have failed the wider community.
On both issues, I trust that Hunters will adjust their ongoing policy."
Response from the owner 12 hours ago
“We are pleased to support the festival, which is becoming more and more popular each year, and receives wonderful, positive feedback from the hundreds of local people who attend. I am pleased that the festival has become such a key fixture in the life of the local community, and pleased that so many local people and local businesses get behind the event, put on with the hard work of the Friends.
Our boards, that go up in front of 100 houses each year with the kind support of 100 local residents, are re-used by us each year.”
I’ve asked Hunters Catford on their Facebook site for access to view their stored advertising boards.
With regret, given that their advertising boards are printed with a specific date on their signage for Blythe Hill Fields 2019 Festival, then I cannot trust that Hunters Catford are being truthful.
What do you think about Hunters Catford’s position?