Manchester City Council have cancelled all of its Bonfire Night events this year, explaining “a combination of factors” called for them to make this drastic move.
After a two year hiatus due the Covid-19 pandemic, the council announced on October 12 that they will not bring back their annual Bonfire Night events at any venues around Manchester. The last council run Bonfire Night events were in November 2019.
Typically the events took place in eight parks in the Manchester area. These included, Heaton Park, Platt Fields Park, Cringle Park, Debdale Park and Wythenshawe Park.
Heaton Park was well known as the biggest and the best Bonfire Night event in the area, leaving the public widely disappointed, especially as the holiday falls on a Saturday this year.
In an official statement posted by the Manchester City Council “a combination of factors” was blamed for the cancellation of the events. These “factors” included “escalating costs”, “increasing safety and organisational measures and increased pressure on Council budgets.”
Councillor Lee Ann Igbon, Executive Member for Vibrant Cities, said that the money which would have typically been used to host this event has been “re-prioritise[d]” to help support “our residents through the cost-of-living crisis”.
People have taken to Twitter to voice their concerns about this move. It is a common belief that the absence of free public events people will host their own Bonfire Night celebrations putting pressure and “more costs” on the emergency services.
With winter and the October half-term coming up, combined with the on going cost-of-living crisis, Manchester City Council said that it wished to focus more on providing “fun, free activities for families and young people” including “sports activities, family events, outdoor adventures and cultural activity”.
Leeds, Cardiff and Hackney have already announced that they will not hold their events this year. It is alleged that Leeds City Council typically spends an excess of £200,000 per year on November 5.
The council have not said whether the events are cancelled indefinitely suggesting they would assess the situation each year.