Sparks go out on Sutton civic bonfire revival bid

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WATER has been poured on hopes for a revival of the civic bonfire event in Sutton in a bid to save thousands of pounds.

It appeared the traditional bonfire and fireworks display would return following a year off after Ashfield District Council announced in April it had set aside cash in its budget.

But on Thursday following recommendations it would be too expensive, the council’s cabinet agreed to ditch the idea. Instead, the council will support local events organised by other groups.

Ashfield District Council leader John Knight said residents would not miss out because the new plan was similar to last year’s scheme, which had been deemed a success.

“This way, we are providing the same service at a lesser cost to the taxpayer,” he said.

But Coun Jason Zadrozny said the Labour-led authority had broken a promise to bring the event back.

“They made a pre-election promise that they were going to re-establish this event because of the strength of public feeling, and now it is not going ahead,” he said.

“This is an event that in the past has attracted up to 20,000 people and never less than 14,000. It costs less than a pound per person - it’s a ridiculously small amount of money in the grand scheme of things.”

Councillors voted in support of the officers’ recommendations to drop plans to reinstate the bonfire event, which was last held on Sutton Lawn in 2009.

Costs were estimated at a combined £37,000 to put on two events this year, in Sutton and Hucknall.

Traditionally, the event had alternated between Sutton Lawn and Hucknall town on a yearly basis.

It was estimated event management costs would reach £10,000 for the two events because the post of events officer had been cut from the district council.