Axed London Pleasure Gardens workers stage site protest

One of the visionaries behind the doomed London Pleasure Gardens venture has apologised after its collapse.

Garfield Hackett said directors were doing everything they could to make sure workers were compensated.

Workers, traders and performers are currently out of pocket after the doomed Silvertown attraction went into administration last week.

Many of the ex-staff members, including more than 150 bar staff and people in construction, were given jobs via Newham Workplace, the council’s job brokerage scheme.

Several gathered at the Pontoon Dock site yesterday afternoon to raise awareness of their plight.

Mr Hackett, an acclaimed artist, said: “We are really, really sorry it has come to this.

“We are working tirelessly as we can and our priority is all the people who have put their blood, sweat and tears into this project.

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“This project wouldn’t have happened if it was just about the money.”

Newham Council is facing serious questions over its decision to loan the LPG directors �3.3 million to open the venue in the first place.

A spokesman admitted the last tranch of council taxpayers’ money was banked shortly before the Games started on the basis that visitors to the ExCeL centre would flock to the attraction.

East Ham MP Stephen Timms has been in touch with people left jobless after the collapse of the London Pleasure Gardens.

Curleen Williams’s 20-year-old daughter Monique lost her job as a bartender.

She said: “It’s not looking good. Newham Workplace started making appointments with some of the staff to assist them after they saw some of the press coverage.

“Monique is determined to get another job and obviously this has been quite a knock back for her, but they are all in the same boat.”

It has also been confirmed that Carnaval Del Pueblo, the showpiece Latin festival due to be held at the London Pleasure Gardens on August 18, has been cancelled after failing to find another venue.

Spokesman Nikki Trax said: “We are all really upset. The festival was a nice event to bring the family to.

“Obviously the organisers paid a deposit. There are people who have paid for flights from America so they have had to be cancelled.”