By Tim Dickens, Editor
The decision by Lambeth council to cancel this year’s Lambeth Country Show, the borough’s annual free party in Brockwell Park, has left people in Brixton and across south London shocked, angry and wanting answers.
Scores of people took to Twitter and the Urban 75 messageboards to show their anger at the decision, which emerged on Friday afternoon.
In a press release, Lambeth’s cabinet minister for leisure, Florence Nosegbe, blamed the 2012 London Olympics. She and council leader Steve Reed tell us police and portaloos have all snapped up by the Games, which is 10 miles away in Stratford.
But it is hard to believe that there isn’t more to this late abandonment of the 37-year old institution. As Greater London Assembly (GLA) candidate Rob Blackie pointed out on Twitter, the council has known about the Olympics now for seven years. Why has this decision been taken now, only five months before the rural-themed gig?
Fair enough, cllr Reed. if there are no portaloos there are no portaloos. But why on earth can’t the council rearrange our beloved country show? The weather in late August or early September could be perfect for a day of sheep shearing, dog shows and flagons of lethal Chucklehead cider.
As this doesn’t add up, and gauging the reaction of residents, we here at the Brixton Blog want to put pressure on cllr Reed, cllr Nosegbe, and their council colleagues to rethink the ill-thought out plan to write-off the community’s own Country Show. The Country Show that so many of us hold dear to our hearts, and which consistently brings together tens of thousands revellers from across south London.
Please sign our petition so that we can take it to the town hall and show them quite how angry people are.
If we can get 3,000 signatures Lambeth will be forced to debate the petition at a full council meeting, and the public will get a chance to speak in the chamber and speak in defence of the show.
Let’s show exactly how strongly people feel about this.
Steve Reed tells us that the council is right to forget the show this year, like Glastonbury and the Big Chill. But this isn’t a music festival in the corner of a Somerset field, this is an event that is vital to the people who pay their council tax month after month.
If you would like to help with our Save Lambeth Country Show campaign, or would like to help us collect written signatures at some point, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime, help us save the show by telling all your friends to sign the petition.
View the Urban 75 thread on the cancellation here.