The Mancunion

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‘Reclaim the Night’ cost Union £7k

But the figures show “not even half of the picture”, says Tabz O’Brien-Butcher

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The successful ‘Reclaim the Night’ event cost the Union £7,000, figures obtained by The Mancunion show.

This means that the event cost £1,200 more than the £5,800 ‘maximum amount’ originally proposed for the event.

‘Maximum’ figures seek to evaluate the risk posed by an event to the Union finances if no sales – in this case, t-shirts and tickets – are made.

A new, higher ‘maximum amount’ of £8,000 was requested in the Executive meeting on the 18th February, just three days before the march was set to take place.

Women’s Officer Tabz O’Brien-Butcher, who organised the Reclaim the Night march, cited “costs that had not been taken into consideration” as the reason for the budget rise.

The largest contributing factor to the cost was the road closures and police presence at the event – just over £3,700 was spent to close part of Oxford Road and have two officers present at the march.

“Obviously, organizing an event of this scale has cost implications,” explained O’Brien-Butcher.

“The largest cost incurred was traffic management and ensuring participant safety, which should be a key priority for any large scale event such as this.”

The statistics also show that artist fees for the after-march party cost £1,770.

The headline act was former Manchester-born X Factor contestant Misha B.

“Bringing Misha B in brought a whole new demographic to the event,” said O’Brien-Butcher.

“It opened the march up beyond feminist campaigners, and ensured that the awesome vibes of the march continued late into the evening.”

Overall, says O’Brien-Butcher, the figures show “not even half of the picture”.

“Reclaim the Night has never been envisaged as a for profit event”, she said.

“From thousands of pounds worth of press coverage, national exposure for the union and the impact the march had on students and the local community […] I’m very proud of the event we delivered.”

  • Tessa

    You have to admit, our Tabz knows what she’s doing when it comes to intersectionality and community inclusion. Feminism of the non-BS kind. I know who I’ll be voting for this year ;)

    • Joe

      No, you don’t have to admit that. I sure don’t.

      How does this campaign actually help anyone?

      I mean, I get that it’s for a good cause and all, but what is the benefit of making a load of noise about how the streets shouldn’t be unsafe at night? It doesn’t MAKE them any safer.

      • Tessa

        Do you know what intersectionality and community inclusion are?

        Go away, read a book, read Tabz’ manifesto and the Live Debate, and then try to pick out how they relate to Tabz’ approach to the march.

        Maybe Reclaim The Night doesn’t make the streets any safer, but it isn’t going anywhere, and as a woman, I would rather have someone who understands intersectionality and community inclusion representing me.

        Thank you.

        • Joe

          I would be fine with that, but if it doesn’t make the streets any safer, it doesn’t justify costing the Union £7000.

          Think how many people you could feed for a year if they donated that money to RAG. It’s in the hundreds. Remember, you’re directly sacrificing that kind of support when you hold an event like this.

          If it’s not an extremely useful campaign, I don’t think that’s acceptable.

          • Tessa

            I agree that it does seem an obscene amount of money to walk down the road and be entertained at the end of it. Perhaps the cost effectiveness of this march can be improved for future years. After all Gandhi didn’t need all of the bells and whistles for his Salt Marches, and he got stuff done.

    • Tessa

      Actually, I’m torn between Tabz and Susi Law. Susi has some pretty comprehensive ideas, and is also intersectional and cross-liberation, which is what we really need more of…..Perhaps the newbie deserves a chance :)

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