Lambeth council has committed to keeping the hugely popular Lambeth Country Show, but massive budget cuts mean the annual fireworks display will not go ahead.
Lambeth’s funding has been cut in half by central government cuts, meaning the council must carefully prioritise how it spends its money.
The Country Show, held every summer in Brockwell Park, attracted 160,000 people last month and included live music, a fun fair, main arena shows such as horse jousting and dog display teams, bars, food stalls, flower displays, a farmers’ market and animals of all shapes and sizes. It is free to attend.
The November fireworks event is also popular but the council had to introduce charges last year in an attempt to keep costs manageable.
Cllr Jane Edbrooke, Lambeth cabinet member for Neighbourhoods, said: “The Government have cut our budget by more than 50% – 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.
“In terms of events, that is undoubtedly the Lambeth Country Show – one of the most popular events in the whole capital and a fixture in Lambeth’s calendar for over 40 years. The Country Show will remain; it will be free and will continue to offer the very best in family entertainment.
“Our commitment to the Country Show and the pressure on our budget means that we simply cannot afford to stage a fireworks event this year. 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. We feel that the resources we do have should be directed to providing a free event in the summer, open to everyone.”