Sadly, the Plumstead Make Merry Festival has succumbed to the cuts – at least for this year.
It is with great disappointment and regret that the organising committee for the Plumstead Make Merry have to announce that there will not be a Make Merry on Plumstead Common this year. Due to central government cuts in local authority funding, Greenwich Council have been forced to cut the funding on which the Make Merry has depended on for its infrastructure. The committee is made up of local people who all volunteer their time and efforts for free, we do not make a profit, and proceeds from our tea tent and stalls are spent on staging, marquees, sound equipment and on providing free activities for children.
The Plumstead Make Merry has been held on Plumstead Common every year for the last 32 years. It is the most eagerly awaited local event, and the longest running event in the borough. Last year, over 6,000 people visited the festival. We, the Plumstead Make Merry Committee are devastated that there will not be a festival this year, and we know that we are not alone in this feeling.
A benefit bash for 2012’s festival will held on 16 April at the Greenwich Rugby Club pavillion on Old Mill Road, Plumstead – more details on the Make Merry site.
It’s worth recalling that Greenwich’s grant to PMM was just £2,000. I do wonder if the Plumstead Make Merry is being punished for being a small and relatively low-profile event compared with some of the other things the council is pushing at the moment.
The Plumstead Make Merry festival, which takes place each June on Plumstead Common, is under threat of cancellation this year after losing its £2,000 grant from Greenwich Council.
The Make Merry has been running for 33 years and is billed as a celebration of Plumstead’s history and diversity, and depends on the council’s small handout and a few local sponsors. Without that council money, its future is in the balance.
I’m hoping to grab a chat with one of the organisers at some point soon, but a committee member tells me: “We are currently scrambling round trying to beg, borrow and steal anything we can that will allow us to put on some kind of event.”
So, before anything else, can you help the Make Merry gang make merry this summer?
This is what they’re short of:
– Two marquees – “one small (3mx3m or bigger), one big (last year’s one was 20’x40′, it doesn’t need to be quite as big but that’s a guide)”
– PA system – “last year’s was 12 kw. For health and safety (lost child and ‘help there’s a fire’ announcements) we have to have something about as powerful.”
– Electricity generator (they currently have an estimate of £120 for one)
– Some staging, or an alternative
– Fire extinguishers.
The cut to Plumstead Make Merry does seem to continue a policy where Greenwich Council has prioritised high-profile events over small community events.