A final (well, maybe) postscript to the farrago that was Greenwich Council pulling out of this year’s Blackheath fireworks display came in a council scrutiny meeting earlier this month. You’ll recall deputy leader Peter Brooks claiming this was down to “strict control over all expenditure”, implying government-imposed cuts were to blame. Indeed, there have been attempts to paint the issue as “libraries versus fireworks”.
But the papers put before the overview and scrutiny panel show this simply wasn’t the case.
Bear in mind the fireworks – which eventually went ahead after Lewisham Council made a public appeal for donations – attracted an estimated 100,000 people to Blackheath two weeks ago. Greenwich saved £37,000 by not funding them. Instead, it spent the following – without any reference to elected councillors: