Victoria Park fireworks display gets axed

The long-running tradition of Bonfire Night fireworks in Victoria Park will not go ahead this year because it is too costly to run.

The occasion will still be marked though, with festivities at four sites across Tower Hamlets - King Edward Memorial Park, Mile End Stadium, Millwall Park and Weaver’s Fields, Tower Hamlets Council said.

Furthermore, the number of events at Victoria Park is being reduced, from 13 days’ worth last year to ten this year.

Mayor Lutfur Rahman said the decision to limit the use of the East End’s most famous park was made because of residents’ concerns - but some are saying it does not go far enough.

Cllr Marc Francis, Bow East ward, said: “They’re milking Victoria Park and it’s at the detriment of the people who live there.

“Residents would prefer to keep the fireworks display, which they benefit from, and get rid of some of the ticketed events, which they don’t.”

East Enders who live near the park have complained in past years of the noise and anti-social behaviour festivals like the summer weeekender Lovebox bring.

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But the mayor said the cash brought in by the events is needed now more than ever.

He explained: “The council has been forced to make �72 million worth of savings over the next three years.

“That is why we have to make the most of the opportunities that we have to generate income.”

Speaking of the decision to axe the Victoria Park fireworks, Mr Rahman added: “For too long the council has footed the entire bill for the event despite most of the people who go there living outside of the borough.”

Cllr Francis said his constituents would be presenting a petition against the decision to the council.

Vitoria Park is still to host its own run of Olympics events next year.

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