A wallet friendly Bonfire Night 2011

pic : Paul Brocklehurst

It appears the purse strings are tightening for firework displays in London.

Tower Hamlets Council has cancelled the annual Victoria Park firework displays, it was confirmed earlier this year.

The popular show attended by 80,000 Londoners every year will be cancelled due to cost-cutting measures by the council, which has to save £55 million from this year’s budget.

However, the Mayor and his cabinet opted to host three fireworks events instead of a large scale event  following a Cabinet meeting on March 9 to give residents more opportunities to enjoy the displays in their local area.

There will be four free community events across the borough at King Edward Memorial Park, Mile End Stadium, Millwall Park and Weaver’s Fields at 7:30pm.

Councillor Rania Khan, lead member for culture said: “As fireworks is one of the highlights of the autumn arts calendar I am thrilled the council is offering not one but three free shows for people to go along too. The displays will be held throughout the borough making it more accessible to residents.”

Residents are encouraged to go along to their nearest displays.

Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman said: “Fireworks have always been very popular in the borough and this year I wanted to make sure our residents benefited from our fantastic displays. We’re taking the displays out to the community with three shows making it more accessible and giving thousands more local families a chance to enjoy fireworks for free.”

Fireworks including sparklers will not be allowed in any of the parks to ensure everyone can enjoy celebrations safely and there will be no funfair at the venues.

Residents in and around Limehouse can enjoy another free and family friendly event at Barlett Park firework displays.

Given the current economic climate, Lewisham council is asking visitors to donate towards the Blackheath fireworks to help reach the £30,000 target and to ensure the event’s continuation in future years.

This year, Lewisham Council is working in conjunction with the Mayor’s chosen charity, the Lavender Trust at Breast Cancer Care.

Donations by text will include a small donation to the charity which supports younger women affected by breast cancer.

Mayor of Lewisham, Sir Steve Bullock, said: “Last year, with the support of so many generous individuals and companies, we were able to host a spectacular event at Blackheath.”

“We’ve had great support from local organisations keen to maintain this free, family-oriented event but if visitors could also help by making a donation, before or during the event, we will keep the skies sparkling over Blackheath.’’

The event, which attracted an estimated 100,000 people last year, will include a spectacular fireworks display as well as a funfair, food stalls and a fully licensed bar, which will be open before and after the display.

Due to lack of funding, Croydon council has confirmed it will not be hosting any such subsidized firework displays.

Croydon residents will have an array of privately funded firework displays to choose from this Bonfire Night.

On Saturday, November 5, there will be a charity display at Sanderstead recreation ground, Limpsfield Road. The gates at the Sanderstead display open at 5.30pm with fireworks starting at 7pm.

After the bonfire at 7.30pm spectators can enjoy a small funfair. All proceeds go to charity.

Smaller displays include Orchard Way Primary School, in Shirley, and Downsview Primary School, in Upper Norwood.

Royal Russell School will host a bonfire on Sunday, November 6, and there will also be displays at Park Hill Primary School and The Ridgeway Primary School.

Hackney council hasn’t got any subsidized firework events and haven’t in a while.

Measures will be taken to make sure this is not only a wallet-friendly Bonfire Night – but a safe one too.

Given that Bonfire Night on Saturday will mark the first time the event has fallen on a weekend since 2006, London’s Fire Brigade (LFB)  is anticipating its highest level of Bonfire Night calls since then.

LFB will be live tweeting to “shock people into acting more safely.”

The LFB ‘Twitterthon’ will begin from 16:00 +GMT on 5 November.

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