Post Notting Hill Carnival Residents Meeting – 26th October 2016: Synopsis
On 26th October 2016 residents of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea had the opportunity to express their views on the latest edition of Notting Hill Carnival.
Chairing the meeting were the London Notting Hill Carnival Enterprises Trust (LNHCET) trustee director Lewis Benn, Met Chief Superintendent Jane Connors, and James Fitzgerald, interim head of culture at the council.
Residents expressed concern about anti-social behaviour
Scarcity of toilets in the Carnival route was still an issue and residents pointed out anti-social behaviour as a result of this.
The quality of portable toilets was so bad that many of them became unavailable throughout the day .
Therefore increasing quality was as important as increasing numbers.
The council responded the number of toilets has tripled this year, and sustainable toilets were also introduced.
Carnival Sunday, also known as children day is immersed in the adult “J’ouvert” and “Fun Mas”
In the last few years, the increasingly popular j’ouvert floats have been taking centre stage on a day that is supposed to be dedicated to children.
A resident pointed out that children carnival has an educational purpose, an occasion to transmit the history and art of the yearly tradition.
To this, the council responded that although j’ouvert was supposed to start at 6am and finish at 9am, a later finish had been tolerated in recent years. The council added the Carnival Arts and Masquerade Foundation (CAMF) was addressing the problem.
Lewis Benn stressed how important art was to Carnival, to ensure its longevity.
The carnival is staying in Notting Hill
A resident stressed the Notting Hill Carnival is a street festival. It came about because Africans living on the colonial plantations were not allowed on the streets. It has become a celebration of freedom.
Carnival organisers must work closely with the residents to find solutions to recurrent problems. It is critical for residents to take ownership of the issues, and propose solutions to maintain the social cohesions that is the raison d’être of the carnival.
Councillor Pat Mason concurred. “It is critical to stop speculating about displacing the carnival and focus on finding solutions in the Notting Hill area”, he declared.
Security at the carnival
The London Notting Hill Carnival Enterprise Trust affirmed the footprint of the carnival as well as the carnival route were being reviewed to address the overcrowding.
Stewards have been introduced in the latest edition, to support the Police although a resident thought it was a risk to scale back police in favour of stewards.
A report by the Commissioner of Police stated that security cannot be guaranteed at Carnival, unless a ticketing system is introduced.
You can still have your say on the Notting Hill Carnival by responding to the public consultation undertaken by the Police and Crime Committee
The deadline for feedback is November 4th 2016.