Cost-of-living crisis in Mid Sussex: Bonfire Night and Christmas celebrations still going ahead

The cost-of-living crisis has forced many UK towns to call off their annual Bonfire Night fireworks displays and Christmas lights events, with others scaling back festivities to save money.
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A body representing town and parish councils said many were having to ‘think creatively’ to be able to afford events.

Leeds, Hackney, Glasgow and Cardiff, for example, are among the cities cancelling Bonfire Night fireworks displays this year, while Guildford, Ely and Budleigh Salterton in Devon are among those foregoing Christmas lights events.

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But bonfire groups and councils in Mid Sussex are reassuring the district’s residents that they can still look forward to some great nights out this November and December.

Bonfire groups and councils are reassuring Mid Sussex residents that they can look forward to some great nights out in November and DecemberBonfire groups and councils are reassuring Mid Sussex residents that they can look forward to some great nights out in November and December
Bonfire groups and councils are reassuring Mid Sussex residents that they can look forward to some great nights out in November and December

Michael Moore, chair of Cuckfield Bonfire, said the society has decided to ‘absorb an increase in costs’ for the next Cuckfield Bonfire and Fireworks to Music event on November 5. This means tickets will be the same as last year.Michael told the Middy: “Our aim is to give everyone a good night out in the knowledge that all of our profits go to support local good causes, who all have their own challenges. Last year we donated a record £18,000 and we are hoping for another great event this year.”

A spokesperson for Haywards Heath Town Council said: "HHTC has a very small firework event to compliment the Orchards Shopping Centre activities on November 26, which will go ahead, and there has been no impact on this event. Our Christmas Lights display around the town also remains unchanged.”

All Haywards Heath Town Council events are free and the council is looking into another possible ‘low cost small gathering’ before Christmas.

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The spokesperson said: “Please come along and enjoy the Christmas Festival in the Orchards and the join us in Victoria Park, which is business as usual.”

Burgess Hill Town Council said there are no changes to its Christmas celebrations either.

A spokesperson confirmed: “The Town Council will be delivering their free to attend Christmas event on Saturday, November 19, with many free activities.”

The Local Government Association, which represents local authorities, said town halls across the UK were facing billions in added costs in 2022.

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Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, who chairs its culture, tourism and sport board, said: “Councils are facing at least £2.4 billion in extra cost pressures this year as a result of inflation, energy costs and projected increases to the National Living Wage.”

The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) said: “Most councils are continuing, at this point, with their existing plans. However, some will review their plans given the significant increase in their energy bills; in some cases, four times the amount of previous years.

“They've had to think creatively to deliver for their communities by, for example, reducing the time the Christmas lights are switched on.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities said: “Councils, rather than central government, are in charge of managing their own budgets. We have made available £54.1 billion this year for councils across England, an additional £3.7 billion compared to last year.”