Major events threatened as Wolverhampton City Council makes major cuts

Some of the West Midlands' best known outdoor events are under threat as cash-strapped Wolverhampton City Council makes further cuts.

Crowds of country music fans gather to enjoy the live entertainment at the Wolvestock Festival in East Park, Wolverhampton
Crowds of country music fans gather to enjoy the live entertainment at the Wolvestock Festival in East Park, Wolverhampton

All outdoor events in Wolverhampton- including Wolvestock, the City Show and the annual bonfires- will be reviewed and the number reduced.

Events could also be scaled down.

Critics today said it would be a huge blow to the city and would deter people from visiting.

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But council chiefs insisted they would try to save as many events as possible and said all would be looked at closely.

The cuts to services were revealed after bosses told workers they must now cut the workforce by 2,000 – a third of all staff.

See also: Wolverhampton City Council staff devastated as cuts laid bare

Youngsters try their hand at plate-spinning in West Park at Wolverhampton City Show
Youngsters try their hand at plate-spinning in West Park at Wolverhampton City Show last year

The local authority is looking to reduce its outdoor events programme to 'one or two combined community/business events a year that will attract sponsorship', proposals have revealed.

This means some of the more expensive events would either not continue or be 'significantly scaled down', a report reveals.

It adds: "Many of the existing events that would not be continued, e,g City Show, bonfires, Christmas lights switch ons, Diwali, Vaisakhi, St Goerge's day and Wolvestock , are well loved events within the community."

The move would save £20,000 in 2015 to 2016.

Watching the main fireworks display. Image: Jonathan Hipkiss
Watching the main fireworks display at West Park's bonfire display

But Councillor Malcolm Gwinnett, Liberal Democrat representative for the Spring Vale ward, said big events such as Wolvestock had to be done properly or not at all.

He said: "There has been a lot of talk and work lately on a review of peoples' first impressions of the city.

"One of the things that was raised in that was events that are held here. It seems the council is destroying any good first impressions people might have of the city."

He also raised health and safety concerns.

Wolverhampton City Council currently promotes three fireworks displays- two on bonfire night and one at Diwali.

These attract between 20 and 25,000 people.

Councillor Gwinnett said he feared if these were axed it would encourage more people to stage their own firework displays or unofficial ones, leading to more injuries.

Wolverhampton leisure chief Elias Mattu said no decisions had yet been made about which events could be reduced or scaled down.

"We are still looking at all the events as a whole package,"he said.

"It is not definite yet but there will be some savings that have to be made. We are trying to keep as many events as possible."

He added: "Savings do have to be made. We are in dire straits and have had to make some of the most difficult decisions ever. But we are not going to just pick things out of a hat and we will not be rushing into any decisions. But I think it would not be fair if we didn't look at all of the city's events."

Country music festival Wolvestock has already introduced a £6 charge for entry.

Should public events be protected from the cuts? Have your say in the comments section.

 

 

Comments for: "Major events threatened as Wolverhampton City Council makes major cuts"

Captain Mardon International

It's a bit like the team really.....

nik.hare1

team? oh yeah, the team that has actually won a trophy or two. fool

Captain Mardon International

We have too chump

rainbowfly

hope they dont stop the city show or alter it in a bad way like making it smaller iv been going to this show for about 10 yrs and love it every year we go both days and love it. my children also love it to what with the main show ring and the farm animals and seeing things like sheep shearing etc being done its fantastic time for young children to learn about our farming ways

charlie17

No I do not believe that any event should be subsidised. The Council have effectively sacked 2000 people because they have no money how would these people feel if the Council continued to give money away for other peoples pleasure. Turn the functions over to one of the big promotional organisations and take a %age of the ticket money.

JM

These Events although enjoyed by many are not priorities , they are not essential services. Surely providing for our disabled residents , our Older community , our young people , our children in Care should be the Councils priorities

If these Events are so well attended then surely they should pay for themselves

If these Events are so well attended surely Business's in the City should contribute especially large companies like Sainsburys , Wolves , Redrow , Asda , Tesco , Waitrose , McDonalds etc who make huge profits out of the City and its residents. These Companies have massive Marketing Budgets and these large well attended Events provide an opportunity for them to promote their products and score invaluable good community points , they all ramble on about how they serve the community well prove it , show their customers how much they really care about the Town. Surely the University could get involved , as a multi million pound business why don't they put their name to an Event they seem to be advertising everywhere so I presume their Marketing Budget is enormous

The Council should concentrate on providing quality services for residents in genuine need , closing Day Centres and reducing or stopping services for people who have a genuine need should not be happening in 2014

Concentrate on the services a Council should provide and stop trying to be "all singing all dancing " , make Multi national companies put something into our Communities , lets hear about the good work they do in our Town encourage them to "outdo" each other , let them use the opportunity to show us who is the best for our communities

Finally get shot of half the useless Councillors and thats the £20k needed

nik.hare1

great post jm.

what makes me angry is that the local and national government let these debts build up and then take it out on the people.

idiots.

stevedave

Just get rid of Wolvestock. Country music is the single worst thing to ever happen to sound, let alone music (Yes, even worse than Black Grape), and it's the only thing in the article which only appeals to a certain group of rouge-necked fans. The City Show is good for the family as are fireworks displays. Plus certain people could probably do with going to a Diwali celebration, it might open their minds and close off their UKIP memberships.

mrbromford

no the council should not fund these events