Councils in Manchester, Leeds, Glasgow, Cardiff and Hackney said traditional bonfire nights will not be going ahead this year, with most citing the cost of living crisis as the reason. Some of the events haven’t run since 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic.
Manchester local authority announced on Wednesday that the free council-organised events had been scrapped for 2022 with bosses blaming “escalating costs”.
But organisers cited a “combination of factors” including budget pressures, increased safety measures and the local authority’s ambition to become a net zero carbon city by 2038.
They are now looking at “reprioritising budgets” to look at more community events through winter focussing on “fun free activities for families and young people.”
In Cardiff, a firework event organised by a local community group has been cancelled after running for 40 years.
Leeds city council said it has cancelled its bonfire and firework events because of “significant budget pressures”.
It also said the cost of living crisis is putting pressure on local people “which is having a significant impact on the council’s demand for services and support”.
Hackney council said it is not a permanent decision to cancel the Bonfire Night event at Clissold Park.
The council said it plans to “weigh up our priorities as our finances continue to come under pressure from rising inflation and costs”.
Councillor Caroline Woodley from Hackney Council added: “We must also consider the wider environmental and air quality implications of the fireworks.”
In Scotland, the charity Glasgow Life – who usually runs the bonfire event on Glasgow Green – made the difficult decision to cancel.
A spokesperson for Glasgow Life said: “There is plenty to see and do in Glasgow all year round, especially in the weeks leading up to Christmas. We’re focused on bringing back the Christmas lights switch-on and restoring one of the city’s favourite festive traditions”.
Councils are facing at least £2.4billion in extra costs this year due to inflation, energy costs and projected increases to the national living wage, Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, chair of the LGA culture, tourism and sport board, said.
He told Newsround: “Councils’ circumstances will differ, therefore it will be up to the individual council to decide what events should go ahead and to what extent.”
However, not all bonfire events will be cancelled on November 5.
Displays in London, Yorkshire, Birmingham and some areas in Wales are still set to go ahead.