The Wellingborough Carnival, which was scheduled for July 2, has been cancelled for the third year in a row over a lack of funding.
Traditionally the carnival has been run by The Carnival Association and the Borough Council of Wellingborough, which was scrapped in last year’s local Government shake-up.
This arrangement put two events, the carnival and the Party in the Park, together over two days which meant considerable savings in infrastructure compared with two separate events. The Carnival Association and the Borough Council of Wellingborough split the cost and income over the two days.
According to the Wellingborough Carnival Committee they received an email from North Northamptonshire Council (NNC), the new authority, at the end of April stating that they wanted it back as two separate events.
They claimed the email also stated that NNC would keep all the money, and The Carnival Association would be ‘self-sufficient’. They claim this left them with no time to go for grants for such events.
Wellingborough Carnival Committee said that, despite this, they were able to find someone who was prepared to cover their costs, somewhere in the region of £5,000, but that “the attitude of NNC has resulted in the offer being withdrawn through lack of confidence in the NNC”.
In response to the carnival committee’s claims Cllr Helen Howell, North Northamptonshire Council’s deputy leader and executive member for sport, leisure, culture and tourism, said: “The carnival parade including associated logistics and costs are the responsibility of Wellingborough Carnival Association. NNC does not directly fund any carnival parades across North Northamptonshire and it is the responsibility of each carnival association to secure funding.
“Although we are unable to offer financial support for the carnival, NNC have facilitated the road closure application for the route and have offered to cover the cost of printed brochures for the weekend. An area for the carnival has also been considered and could still be worked into a site plan.
“NNC are keen to continue to support all carnivals taking place across North Northamptonshire and alternative sources of funding are available to organisations, such as the Wellingborough Carnival Association, for example through NNC’s Member Empowerment Fund.”
Wellingborough Carnival Committee also said they were unable to find out what the council is laying on for the ‘Party in the Park’ on July 3 – which would have an impact on both days with regard to food concessions and charity stalls. They said that, from the charity’s point of view, they are “trying to avoid the debacle suffered by charities for the Waendel Walk”.
But Cllr Howell said: “As with previous years, Party in the Park will be a weekend event and, on both days, there will be a fun fair, amusements, live music and food and beverage traders. NNC is fully funding Party in the Park and will use any revenue generated from the event to contribute towards the costs associated with running that event.
“Unlike previous years, we will not be offering stalls for other businesses and community groups within Croyland Park.”
Further announcements about the Party in the Park will be made in the coming days.