More of Haringey’s parks may need to host events to plug a “considerable hole” in the council’s parks budget, councillors have heard.

A ruling by the Court of Appeal in November last year means money raised from events in Finsbury Park cannot be spent elsewhere.

This means the authority will have to find alternative sources of income to fund the rest of the borough’s parks and open spaces.

The issue was raised at Haringey Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Monday (March 26), where the Scrutiny Review on Parks report was presented to councillors.

The report acknowledges that underfunding risks causing long-term damage to Haringey’s parks and open spaces.

Music festivals and other events in Finsbury Park helped to raise around £600,000 for the council last year – the majority of the £750,000 raised from park events across the borough.

But the Court of Appeal ruling recognised that, under the Open Spaces Act 1906, money raised by the council from the hire of Finsbury Park can only be spent on Finsbury Park.

It means the council’s £1.2 million expenditure on the Parks Service could widen substantially.

Councillor Tim Gallagher, Labour member for Stroud Green and chair of the environment and community safety security panel, said: “My understanding has always been that a lot more has been raised from events than is actually spent in Finsbury park.

“So, if it is the case that money raised from events can only be spent on Finsbury Park, we now have a considerable hole in the parks budget.

“That clearly has very serious implications – not least because our principal finding throughout this review is that the parks budget as it is is in trouble, and we are not funding parks as we should be.”

Although management and maintenance costs are high in Finsbury park, councillor Emine Ibrahim, Labour member for Harringay, questioned whether they required the whole £600,000-worth of revenue.

She said: “I suppose my worry is that with what’s just been said about the ringfencing of the money for Finsbury Park, you might end up in a situation where more parks have to have events in them in order to increase the budget elsewhere.”

She also pointed out that other boroughs had privatised their park service and outsourced management due to funding difficulties.

Councillor Pippa Connor, Liberal Democrat member for Muswell Hill, pointed out that the council could cut the number of events held in Finsbury Park if they are generating excess revenue.

A recommendation was made for the matter to be considered by the next meeting of the cabinet following local elections on May 3.