In his New Year message broadcast to cheering crowds, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson declared:

"Believe it or not folks there were gloomadon poppers who wanted to cancel the fireworks they said ‘Mr Mayor we can’t afford a fireworks display in the recession.’ I said ‘Phooey.’ I said: ‘The people of London will want to show the world not just that this is the best city on earth, the place to come and work and invest but above all that we know how to party and we do."

Boris declined to name the gloomadon poppers on the City Hall payroll who showed such misjudgement. But I think he is on to something. Councils should save money but cancelling events is not generally the best way to go about it. Often it is possible through sponsorship and engaging with voluntary groups to keep costs down. Indeed popular and suitable events held in parks and other public spaces can often provide a useful revenue stream. Farmers markets, funfairs, literary festivals, open air opera, fireworks, ice rinks. There will be never be unanimity among residents about which events are to be welcomed or at what frequency and what safeguards are put in place to protect the grass. There is a large park in my ward so I am familiar with such sensitivities. But often events can be both be widely enjoyed as well as boosting Town Hall coffers.