Organisers have accused Tower Hamlets Council of forcing the cancellation of the Kids Karnival scheduled to be held on the Isle of Dogs.

The event was meant to take place at Island Gardens on Saturday, July 30 following months of planning by the Friends of Island Gardens.

But the group claimed the authority had placed unrealistic demands on them and announced the cancellation of the event.

In a statement, the committee and officers of the Friends of Island Gardens said: “After months of planning, meetings with council officers and the backing of a significant number of local businesses, it is with profound regret and sadness that demands of Tower Hamlets officials have forced us to announce the cancellation of the Kids Karnival intended for Saturday, July 30 2016.

“Unfortunately our professional event organiser could not cope with demands made of him by Tower Hamlets Council’s arts and events department, and felt they were disorganised and not very efficient.

“And for him to go ahead would have meant charging us a lot more money than we could possibly afford.

“Tower Hamlets gave us the go ahead for this months ago and any concerns or demands could and should have been made to us then.”

Issues outlined by the group included the provision of temporary toilets, which they claim had always been provided by the council.

But the committee said that this time they were asked to hire the toilets themselves.

“We have no public toilets on the Isle of Dogs,” the organisation said, “yet local council tax payers are expected to pay towards the upkeep of 17 public toilets north of East India Dock Road. The council should hang their heads in collective shame.”

In 2015, a ceremony was held to commemorate 120 years of Island Gardens and a plaque was unveiled in memory of Will Crooks, who opened the gardens.

The statement continued: “Will Crooks fought hard and long to get Island Gardens laid out for the public good.

“When opening Island Gardens in 1895 he said ‘this should be a safe haven for mothers and children to come to, and regard this park as your very own’.

“Perhaps Tower Hamlets Council might care to reconsider their approach to local park and communities and put their, or rather our, money where their mouths are.”

Responding to the accusation, a council spokesperson said: “We have given the Friends of Island Gardens extensive support over a period of months and we have always been clear that every event in our parks must comply with health and safety standards.

“All event organisers wanting to use parks and opens spaces for public events have an obligation to comply with statutory health and safety legislation and with the park hire conditions to ensure public safety.

“Unfortunately, despite the extensive support, the organisers decided not to go ahead with their event.”

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