Conservative cuts have led to a council pulling the plug on one of London's biggest fireworks displays.
The annual Brockwell Park fireworks event, held to mark the fifth of November, will not go ahead this year as Lambeth Council’s budget has been cut in half, it announced yesterday.
It said “massive budget cuts” meant it had to prioritise directing money elsewhere and last year’s event had to introduce charges in an attempt to keep it affordable - but this was proved unsuccessful.
A Lambeth Council spokesman told the Independent that the fireworks had not technically been cancelled “as they were never organised” in the first place.
He said: “Lambeth’s funding has been cut in half by central government cuts, meaning the council must carefully prioritise how it spends its money.
"Massive budget cuts mean the annual fireworks display will not go ahead."
Lambeth councillor Jane Edbrooke, cabinet member for neighbourhoods, added: “The Government have cut our budget by more than 50 per cent - forcing us to make more than £200m worth of cuts.
“We simply can’t afford to fund everything in the way we once did and so we have to prioritise the things our residents care about most.”
The council said the Lambeth Country Show would continue and entry will remain free, and its commitment to that event had impacted on its ability to stage the fireworks.
Boo to @lambeth_council for cancelling the Brockwell Park fireworks.— Alex Lewer (@AlexLewer) August 4, 2015
“Last year we had to charge people to attend the fireworks in Brockwell Park and still the event cost the council a significant amount of money," Councillor Edbrooke added.
“We feel that the resources we do have should be directed to providing a free event in the summer, open to everyone."
According to local blog Brixton Buzz, last year’s fireworks saw 21,000 tickets unsold, with the event running over budget by nearly £28,00. Tickets were priced at £7.
The blog said residents were angry that what had always been a public event had been ‘privatised’ so that “an annual public gathering was now excluding some members of the community”.
Jason Cobb, writing for blog Brixton Buzz, said: “The decision to now scrap the Lambeth Council fireworks will leave residents with the choice of either making their own bonfire arrangements, or saying farewell to a long established tradition. Safety campaigners have consistently argued the need for organised public displays.”
The Conservative party has been contacted for comment.Reuse content