Labour Reject Request for Full Bermondsey Carnival Funding

Labour rejected a Liberal Democrat plea for full funding for the Bermondsey Carnival on Wednesday evening.

Southwark Labour amended a Liberal Democrat motion that called on the council to fund a full return of the Bermondsey Carnival in 2022.

Labour voted through its amendment, at a council assembly, which ripped out the aforementioned Liberal Democrat proposal.

Council leader Cllr Kieron Williams, in response to a Liberal Democrat question at the meeting, commented that a decision on funding was due soon.

On Thursday, the Labour-run council released a report regarding its Cultural Celebrations Fund for 2022-23.

Labour previously mentioned that this fund would support community events in the borough and revealed that the Bermondsey Carnival was an applicant.

However, the council report details that only £10,000 could be awarded to the Bermondsey Carnival. That is below the £65,000 and over that it has provided in previous years.

The fund can only provide a maximum of £10,000 per event.

Other festivals receiving the full sum are expecting audiences of as little as 700 people in contrast to the 5,000 that could attend the Bermondsey Carnival.

Commenting, Cllr Hamish McCallum, Southwark Liberal Democrat Group Leader said:

“Labour’s decision to cut full funding for the community-driven Bermondsey Carnival this year is putting an institutional, free event at risk. It is proposing to allow a K-pop festival which, as a private event, will shut out many members of the public from attending. We have also found their repeated mentions of the Cultural Celebrations Fund disingenuous, as it will never be able to provide a large enough grant to match the funding the Bermondsey Carnival had in previous years.”