Row over Morecambe Carnival clean-up

Last year's Morecambe Carnival parade.
Last year's Morecambe Carnival parade.

The main man behind Morecambe Carnival thinks a decision to charge him for cleaning up after next year’s event is a load of rubbish.

David Brayshaw is at loggerheads with Lancaster City Council chiefs after they refused to collect litter for free after the 2016 carnival.

Mr Brayshaw said a clean-up would now cost the organisers £2,700 – money which could have been spent on entertainment for carnival crowds.

After the last two carnivals, the council picked litter off the prom without charging the organisers.

But the cash-strapped council said they can’t afford to do this in 2016 because they need to save £4m over the next four years.

Mr Brayshaw, chairman of Morecambe Carnival Committee, said: “I think they are very short-sighted.

“This is a great community event and brings in lots of money for the town.

“A wagon and three people to collect all the rubbish for £2,700? I think they are taking the mick.

“We don’t ask them for anything else. I totally understand the cuts, but I think that’s a good excuse for them.”

Mr Brayshaw said paying £2,700 to Lancaster City Council for a clean-up would affect the quality of next year’s carnival.

“We raise all the money locally and it cost us around £50,000 last year.

“If we have to raise another £3,000 it would have to come out of something else – entertainment for the public.”

Coun David Smith, Cabinet member for Environmental Services on the city council, said: “All organisers of events on public land are expected to clean up the extra litter generated by their event.

“The council provided this service in the first year as the event organisers where overwhelmed by the numbers attending and could not cope and in the second year as a goodwill gesture to help get the event established, which it now is.

“The simple fact is that the council can no longer afford to provide services such as this free of charge.

“Over the next four years the council will need to save £4m, with many services at threat.

“I’m sure Mr Brayshaw will appreciate the difficulties faced by the council and not want to place additional burdens such as this on the public purse at a time when other vital services are at risk.”

Pop band Scouting For Girls will headline next year’s carnival – to be held on April 30 and May 1 2016.

Last year’s event drew more than 37,000 people to Morecambe seafront over two days.

Mr Brayshaw, a Morecambe businessman and town councillor, and his wife Carla set up an organising committee to bring back Morecambe Carnival in 2014 for the first time in 13 years.