Safety net gain for car­ni­val

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - TALIA SHAD­WELL Lo­cal Democ­racy Reporter

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-

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