Really free

17 Aug

Screenshot 2016 08 16 16 08 09

With this year’s Under the Stars coming up at the weekend, a timely Freedom of Information response has revealed the true cost of the mayor’s ‘free’ events for residents.

Over the five years covered that’s a total of £4,314,409.

Imagine what else that money could have been spent on.

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9 Responses to “Really free”

  1. Brad Emerson (@bradleyem) August 17, 2016 at 09:24 #

    Sometimes, you need to spend on the good things as well as boring stuff like services. How much does that work out per person? Is it good value for money is better question.

  2. Martin Warne August 17, 2016 at 10:10 #

    Brad, that’s a fair point. I guess my objection is really to the pretence that these events come at no cost to residents, when in fact (a) we are paying for them and (b) we then go without other things the money might have been better spent on.

    I wrote about this at somewhat greater length here: https://forestgate.net/2013/08/20/how-much-does-free-really-cost/

  3. Brad Emerson (@bradleyem) August 17, 2016 at 12:29 #

    Cheers. So if there’s 300k people, then that’s only about £1-£2 per person per event. So your point about being ‘free’ is very valid, it’s not a significant amount per head. ‘You don’t get owt for nowt’ as we northerners apparently say!

    On the flipside I wonder what revenues these generate from sponsorships and suchlike.

  4. Birdman August 17, 2016 at 17:58 #

    I raised this point with a councillor some years ago, and the embarrassed answer was they are free to attend. The issue for me was that we were paying for a lot of people from outside LBN to come and have fun, as the events are not restricted to residents. When I was a kid the event was just known as the Newham show. The change of name to the Newham Mayors show was an overtly political move and it is simply wrong to ask residents to pay.

  5. KEVIN MANSELL August 22, 2016 at 12:07 #

    Bread and circuses!!

  6. KEVIN MANSELL August 22, 2016 at 12:09 #

    The denominator for the equation is not the total population but how many people actually turn up – a thousand or so?

  7. terry ball August 29, 2016 at 02:31 #

    i think i have been once in decades its another pr job for the mayor to get loved up by the electorate,like the newham mag its old and costly and the money could be better spent on cleaning the place up ,have a look at the side roads of newham you have to go out with a lawnmower before crossing the rd because of growth in cuirb and the paving .i was having a chat with one of the local road sweepers in manor park and he said that council are trying to get rid of them to private contractors ,this council are no better than a bunch of tories they should never be called labour party thats for sure .will they get rid of the longstanding councillor to private contractors ( mr environment ) he has brought us to this we could save a few quid on his income . .

    • Ted Blair September 1, 2016 at 07:17 #

      “this council are no better than a bunch of tories”. I’ve always said our councillors just want to be on the council regardless of politics and if we were a Tory borough, they’d be tories in a flash (though deep down they already are).

  8. Ted Blair September 1, 2016 at 07:15 #

    It annoys me that they claim there is something for everyone at this event. A more dire line-up would be hard to find. Absolutely nothing if you don’t like soul, reggae, bhangra or classical.

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