Saturday, 5 November 2011

The great fireworks debate

Yesterday night I enjoyed a free fireworks display courtesy of the fact that Ealing Council territory is but a stone's throw from my front door. With a display that shook W12 windows in their frames and lit up the streets below, the good people of Hammersmith & Fulham gazed upwards at a display that was both well planned and superbly executed.

So today I made a comment about this on Twitter, for I shall be spending this evening at another display, this time in Newham with the in-laws, which will also be gratis for the local community and hangers-on like me. My point was that there seemed to be free displays all over London, with the exception of Hammersmith & Fulham.

Several of the ruling Conservative councillors immediately pointed out, quite rightly, that this was public money and that cash spent on things that go bang in the sky is cash not spent on local services. But others pointed out that a free local fireworks festival also generates local trade for businesses who are feeling the cold winds of recession.

Personally I don't have that much of a strong feeling about it and can see the councillors point - but I do just think its a shame that the local community won't be getting a display this year if they can't afford the £7 per person price tag. What think you?

Monday update - well the Newham display I attended was great, and from what I heard the Ravenscourt Park one was too - with lots of you actually managing to enjoy it for free from a secret public location not so very far from the park - clever Bushers. In the meantime, however, have a  read of the shenanigans going on down in South East London reported by my fellow blogger Daryll and thank goodness we don't have a Council as ridiculous as Greenwich. A (Labour) council that prefers funding Mayoral booze-ups to community events. And then they'll criticise the cuts.


  1. Lots of people also enjoy Hammersmith & Fulham's firework display free, watching from outside the park or climbing over the railings.

    As you asked for opinions, Chris, I would rather have the choice of paying. I don't see why my elderly neighbours should have their council tax increased for a party they can't attend.

  2. What I find more interesting is how H&F span their decision not to host a second fireworks display of Fulham. Polling 158 residents, they then used the headline "Residents opt for one firework display"...