Barbecues in Islington parks have had their chips

No more barbecues in parks rules Town Hall

By Julia Gregory, Local Democracy Reporter

People enjoy disposable barbecues on an urban park
Photo: Robert Bye on Unsplash

Town hall bosses agreed to ban barbecues at parks and open spaces and said the fire risk and environmental concerns means they had to call time on the al fresco cooking.

Councillor Rowena Champion said it was “an extremely difficult decision” to make as many residents do not have access to their own outdoor space, but the fire and environmental risks cannot be ignored.

“What we know about air pollution means it is not something we can support any more.”

Islington was one of the few London councils which still allowed barbecues, although this was suspended during covid to encourage social distancing. People were not allowed to fire up barbecues last year because the extreme heatwave meant they posed a serious fire risk.

London Fire Brigade had to tackle dozens of grass fires throughout the hot weather and asked councils to outlaw barbecues to reduce the risk.

Cllr Champion said disposable barbecues which have chemicals in them are particularly problematic and add to litter in parks.
Five years ago the council agreed to a legal challenge by Save Highbury Fields which wanted barbecuing restricted to just one area of the popular open space.

In 2011 the newly elected Labour administration overturned a borough-wide ban. Cllr Champion told the Executive the time was right to outlaw wood-burning and disposable barbecues.

People face fines if they flout the rule.

They will be able to cook food on electric machines which are being tested in Paradise Park instead.

The move, which was backed by Islington’s senior politicians on Thursday 9th February means Camden and Southwark are the only two London councils which have not outlawed them entirely.

However, they were banned during covid-19 pandemic and last year in response to the extreme heat wave and fire risk.

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