Council vote secures Battersea Park's Formula E future

The London Formula E round will continue to be a Battersea Park double-header after the local council voted to retain the event

Council vote secures Battersea Park's Formula E future

Wandsworth Council's Community Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee met on Tuesday night (November 24) to decide whether or not invoke a break clause in its contract with Formula E.

Chaired by Conservative councillor Kim Caddy, whose party holds an eight to four majority, the committee voted seven to four in favour of the July 2-3 event.

With the next break clause not available to invoke until 2017, the Battersea Park round's future is secured for at least two seasons.

Those in favour of the round leant on the income the council receives for allowing the event to take place in the park, and how that offsets an estimated £30million to be cut from the council's budget.

A formal protest took place outside the Wandsworth Council buildings beforehand, while five deputations were present at the meeting itself to outline their objections to the event returning.

These included the "inappropriate" use of a Grade Two listed park for a race track, the extent of the disruption the three-week build process caused and claims that 97 per cent of the park was off limits during the June 27-28 weekend.

Formula E was criticised for the removal of all fencing and tyre marks still not being completed, with work starting again this week, but labelled a "professional" organisation that "want to get it right".

The council now needs to negotiate a series of points with organisers after those who backed the event admitted several improvements are necessary.

Improved signage and better health and safety organisation are two main targets for the end-of-season races, while the council also intends to request against the use of a helicopter for television filming purposes as well.

FORMULA E CALENDAR
October 24 2015 Beijing, China
November 7 2015 Putrajaya, Malaysia
December 19 2015 Punta del Este, Uruguay
February 6 2016 Buenos Aires, Argentina
March 12 2016 Mexico City, Mexico
April 2 2016 Long Beach, United States
April 23 or 24 2016 Paris, France
May 21 2016 Berlin, Germany (in doubt)
June 4 2016 Moscow, Russia
July 2-3 2016 London, United Kingdom

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