Borough Show to be Scrapped

Council blame government cutbacks but MP urges reconsideration

The popular and longstanding Wandsworth Borough Show is to be scrapped as the Council focuses on key services. Last year over 50,000 people attended the event on Putney Common. There will be no other event of its kind held in the borough and the decision will end the thirty year history of the summer show saving the Council £145,000 a year.

Local MP Tony Colman (pictured right) blasted the decision saying, "If the Council want to save money they might want to look at scrapping non-essential extra trimmings such as the Mayor's Tent, rather than axing the entire event."

He has written to the Chief Executive of Wandsworth Council asking him to reconsider and claims widespread support for the retention of the show.

The Council blamed central government cut backs saying that there has been a 2% reduction in funding in real terms for the current financial year which equates to a loss in funding of around £5m.

A council spokesperson said "Obviously this will have an impact on our overall spending and it is only right and proper that our attention remains focused on providing high quality core services like education, housing and social services."

Wandsworth Council was recently assessed as "excellent" by the Audit Commission and was one of only eleven councils to be given maximum marks in these core services. The Government is telling councils that they must concentrate their efforts in these key areas.

The spokeperson added, " The simple fact of the matter is that the borough show is growing more and more expensive every year and no longer provides the same sort of family fun day out that it did when it began in the 1970s. On top of this there is no doubt that more of those people who do attend come from other boroughs and it is unfair to expect council tax payers in Wandsworth to subsidise activities for esidents of places like Lambeth Merton and Richmond."

9 January 2003

Associated articles

Tony Colman MP informs Putney that the Show is under threat. 7.01.03

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