Safety net gain for carnival
THE Notting Hill Carnival could be in line for a funding top-up, as the countdown to the street party begins.
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council (RBKC) is considering nearly doubling its contribution to the running of the festival.
It had agreed to offer £100,000 in funding earlier this year to the carnival, Europe’s biggest street party, which celebrates London’s Caribbean culture.
Lead member for communities and culture Councillor Gerard Hargreaves is later this month set to consider a proposal to add another £75,000 to the carnival’s fund.
There have been calls in previous years to increase the carnival’s funding, as organisers relied on large networks of volunteers to run the event.
The Greater London Authority is the carnival’s biggest funder. Westminster City Council also contributes. Both councils have been asked what they plan to contribute for this August’s carnival.
New organiser Carnival Village Trust’s subsidiary Notting Hill Carnival Ltd has taken over the running of the event this year, vowing to run the most “successful, safe and spectacular carnival” yet.
The organisers said on Wednes- day June 6 that the request for extra funding was made after talks with local authorities.
They explained: “Having engaged with the wider carnival community, and through liaising with the local authorities and statutory agencies such as the Met Police and Transport for London, it was agreed additional funding was required to give the carnival arts the support they require.”
It comes after public safety concerns emerged after last year’s carnival, which were detailed in a report from the Mayor’s Office of Police and Crime.
The RBKC specifically added the carnival to its statement of licensing policy (SLP) for the first time last month in response.
It bans promotions like a happy hour and two-for-one drink deals from being advertised at at the carnival.
It also formalises a lock-out rule for this year’s carnival that the Metropolitan Police had asked license holders to enforce in previous years.
Carnival-goers will be barred from entering or re-entering licensed premises between 7pm and 9pm on both nights of the carnival, which this year is on August 26 and 27.
Event organisers, from stallholders, to pubs, bars and sound system operators, must from this year onwards apply for licences at least six weeks before the carnival.
They are required to outline detailed plans in their applications on how they will prevent crime and disorder, ensure public safety, protect children and control crowd numbers.
While some residents had complained about the effect of noise and crowding during Carnival, the stricter rules had attracted some opposition.
Some sound system operators and carnival supporters had accused authorities of trying to smother the event during consultation on the SLP.
In response, RBKC assured it had no intention to stop the celebrations.
One of the council’s new requirements is to include licensed security guards at events in place of the volunteer stewards the carnival had used in previous years.
The carnival’s organisers are planning to train and pay local stewards for this year’s event, helping them get qualifications.
They are also making plans for stricter enforcement of parade rules, and will be holding health and safety planning meetings ahead of the event.
And the new Carnival advisory board has decided to reinvigorate the Children’s Day, held on the Sunday of the event, as it seeks to
Additional funding was required to give the carnival arts the support they require
increase the weekend’s friendly offerings. family-