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Islington Council under fire for not funding Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations

PUBLISHED: 07:24 11 April 2012

WOLSEY ROAD STREET PARTY, NEWINGTON GREEN, N1

WOLSEY ROAD STREET PARTY, NEWINGTON GREEN, N1

Dieter Perry

“Killjoy” Islington Council has come under fire for not funding any celebrations of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Although the council has waived the fee for street parties and some events are planned to mark the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the throne, no major event will take place in Islington.

The council faced criticism at last week’s meeting from the opposition Liberal Democrat group, which wants the council to spend some of its £10million reserves to mark the occasion.

The Lib Dems also point out that £26,000 of public cash was spent celebrating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History Month, International Women’s Day and Black History Month.

Cllr Terry Stacy, leader of the Lib Dem group, said: “I’m not questioning that’s a good use of money, but I do think it’s a bit hypocritical to not put a penny towards celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee, a one-off event.

“You’ve got to put your money where your mouth is. She’s been on the throne for 60 years.

“I think they should at least match what they’ve spent already on celebrations, the full £26,000.

“The council has a civic responsibility to take some initiative. The Queen had 10,000 people turn up for her in Redbridge, but what are we doing?”

Cllr Catherine West, the council leader, pointed out that a number of events, including two tea dances, which would have taken place anyway, have been rebranded to mark the occasion. She said there would also be a coronation exhibition and the planting of a black poplar tree.

She said: “It would be very easy to find some money and spend it on parties, but we have to encourage people to be part of the big society.

“I am not going to apologise for running a prudent council and I wouldn’t like to have to explain to people how I spent money on parties when I knew how tight things were going to be.”

The council says local initiative funding is available to each ward and anyone interested in throwing a party should contact their councillor.


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