Thursday, 9 June 2011

Brian Coleman deals a fresh blow to the Big Society

Brian Coleman is being accused by the organisers of acting to scupper the Finchley Festival. The Times series has the story:
A war of words has broken out between a controversial councillor and the organisers of a community festival over Barnet Council’s handling of the event.

Members of Finchley Festival’s organising committee say they have had to pull the plug on it because the council had tried to “monetise” it by bringing in a bigger funfair.

But Councillor Brian Coleman, who is in charge of parks, hit back describing last year’s event as a “rip off” and claiming the council is trying to save the show, which was known as the Finchley Carnival.
I haven't been to the Finchley Carnival since I was four years old - yes, it was already going back then - and I don't know what it's like these days. However, I am inclined to believe the Festival organisers' take on this argument. Especially when Coleman comes out with such choice, Big Society-friendly comments as this:
“They have been told that because of the appalling show they had on last year, which was a rip-off to the people of Finchley, they need to up their game.

“They can run a community event that weekend, but the council will bring in a funfair for them to enjoy and split it with the carnival committee to put on events.”
Way to go, Brian. How to win friends and influence people.

Anyway, what is it with Coleman and funfairs? I've noticed an increase in the number in Montrose Park near me. I guess the council gets a good fee from the fair organisers. It certainly seems rather tawdry entertainment for a man known for his champagne tastes.

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