A sign of the times, in the recession?
The multi-cultural festival was called off at the eleventh hour after organisers at the Multi-cultural Arts and Media Centre were unable to come to a compromise with Rochdale Council over a hefty deposit.Yup, looks like it.
But hark! Is that the cry of the lesser spotted grievance-monger I hear?
But Councillor Robin Parker hit out at Wednesday's meeting of the full council, claiming the cancellation was down to concerns over security.Oh noes! Not ‘institutional racism’!
He said: "The success of the Feel Good Festival was superb, if it's possible to secure an event like that then it's also possible to secure the Mega Mela.
"I believe that we are at risk of moving to a borough that could be accused of institutional racism."
And all because the organisers of the Mega Mela are being asked to conform to the same standards as everyone else…
Andy Zuntz, executive director at Rochdale Council, said: "It is unfortunate that this event has been cancelled despite all our best efforts to make sure that robust plans and arrangements were put in place to ensure its success.What does Cllr Parker think Rochdale should do then?
"However, the event organisers decided to withdraw their application because of their inability to place a deposit with the council which is deeply regrettable. A deposit needed to be taken as protection against any potential damage caused to the park and would have been refunded if it was not required."
Waive the deposit, and then have all those other festivals clamouring for equitable treatment? Or pay their deposit from council coffers, and face the wrath of the taxpayer?
Councillor Parker should have enlisted the help of the traveller "community". Since travellers are effectively exempt from any law, they could have started the cultural festivities by trespassing on the council land and then inviting clients of the Arts and Media Centre on to the site to celebrate the vibrant diversity for which Rochdale is deservedly famous. Mind you, getting rid of the travellers after the festival would have been problematical but, hey, that would only be a problem for the council taxpayers not for the Arts abd Media Centre organisers.
"Councillor Parker should have enlisted the help of the traveller "community"."
Better not give them ideas!
Rochdale Council is institutionally racist already, you only have to see which areas are undergoing regeneration for the umpteenth time.
Rochdale's a hole, given how ghettoized all the communities are - there are places not to go if you're white, and place not to go if you're not white - they've got bigger fish to fry than a sodding mela.
And then there's the scag and crack heads.
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