Southwark Council cutting funding for the Bermondsey Carnival is a real blow for the community. As Russell Dryden, one of the organisers, said this week, “it’s the only real big community thing that happens for local people in this neck of the borough.”
Mr Dryden and others told us that the funding for the carnival was cut unilaterally – without consultation. It is a shame, after nearly 25 years, that there was not more of a two-way conversation.
It is also very disappointing that the council did not offer a comment to the local paper on why they decided not to give the usual grant this year. Southwark are often accused of being opaque, of not involving local people in their decision-making enough. This is a great example of why.
At the same time, the proposed K-pop festival – possibly an annual event – is still being considered by the council. It is unclear how much money this will bring in. If it is enough to fund the carnival again next year, despite closing off a large section of the park for two weeks, maybe it is a price worth paying.