Peninsula Festival failure raises new questions over taxpayers' cash

Greenwich Conservatives have expressed renewed concerns over the failure of the Peninsula Festival in North Greenwich, which was allocated £50,000 of taxpayer funding by the Royal Borough of Greenwich.  Council officers have now confirmed that the operators of the festival have not been able to deliver their business plan, with very small attendance at the "Live Site" big screen, and many events cancelled.

The proposal to allocate the funding was made as an "Individual Cabinet member" decision earlier this year, meaning that there was no public discussion at a committee meeting.  Conservatives used Council procedures to "Call in" the decision to allow questions to be asked about value for money.  The Council's response stated "The requirement to include a Big Screen in the event plans makes a significant contribution in ensuring value for money."

As the festival operators are now unable to continue providing the "Live Site", the big screen has been relocated to Eltham, at Well Hall Pleasaunce.

Councillor Fletcher said:

“The failure of the Peninsula Festival is a great shame.  We raised serious questions earlier this year about the amount of public money the Council was putting into it, and there will be more questions to ask after the Games.  The relocation of the Big Screen to Well Hall Pleasaunce in Eltham is a welcome move, and will give people here the chance to enjoy the great atmosphere we’ve seen at the Greenwich and Woolwich screens, though clearly it’s unfortunate there isn’t much time to tell people about it.”

The minutes and other papers from the "Call-in" meeting that Conservatives prompted in February this year can be found here.