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Harry Kemble, Reporter
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Around 6,000 visitors from across the community attended Al-Noor’s 11th Fun Day at Valentines Park on Sunday.
The hugely popular event, organised by the Al-Noor Foundation, which runs the Al-Noor Muslim Primary School in Green Lane, Ilford, offered fairground rides, bouncy castles, arts and crafts and other attractions to enthral the whole family.
Traffic did cause police some concern, but organiser Sadiq Kothia, trustee of the Al-Noor foundation, said: “I went away on Sunday evening absolutely buoyed - it was such an amazing event that so many people came to.
“It was a joyous day that brought families together - whatever their colour and creed. That is what community cohesion is all about.”
Cars, though, parked in the street brought traffic to a standstill throughout the day, Police have said, as families and visitors made their way to the event.
Police arrived at noon on Sunday (8) and assisted stewards with a “one way system”.
Emma Probert, acting police sergeant in Redbridge, said: “The one way system worked well once in place.
“The park itself was supposed to have one entrance and one exit in operation but when police arrived this was not being managed.”
“If the traffic could have been sorted this could have been an even better event.”
Mr Kothia dismissed concerns about traffic.
He believes the fun day should remain at Valentines Park, fearing it could leave the borough otherwise.
“The venue is perfect - we have had the fun day there for 11 years,” he said.
Cllr Wes Streeting, the deputy leader of the Labour party, believes the annual fun day event shows what a “contribution” Al-Noor Foundation makes to the borough.
“I was there between 2pm and 4pm and they already had up to 7,000 people from all backgrounds there,” he said.
“It is yet another example of the contribution Al-Noor plays.”
Cllr Streeting does feel, though, the relevant authorities must work together in the future to stop traffic congestion at the event.
He said: “It is inevitable with big events like this they will cause congestion, but what we need to do is following on from this year’s event, the police, the council and other agencies need to be involved in the planning.
“I am not sure traffic congestion was particularly bad this year but we need to minimise the effects of this.”