Notting Hill Carnival pressure group Reclaim Our Carnival (ROC) has called a public meeting for Monday 20 November. The meeting takes place at the Yaa Centre, 1 Chippenham Mews, and starts at 6.30pm. The meeting is open to everyone concerned about the future of Notting Hill Carnival.
The organisers say there will be updates on developments since the first ROC meeting on 25 September. Another public meeting, which was attended by representatives of the police and councils as well as the board of London Notting Hill Carnival Enterprises Trust (LNHCET), took place on 30 October. Both events stirred up fierce debate and made clear the deep frustration and anger that many carnivalists and residents feel about the way Notting Hill Carnival is being managed, funded and policed.
Monday’s meeting is likely to build on some of the themes that emerged in September and October. They included:
• Weak leadership at LNHCET
• Aggressive, allegedly racist policing
• Use of Carnival as a police training exercise
• Manipulation of crime statistics by the Met
• Hasty and flawed appointment of the event manager
• Biased media coverage, with an over-emphasis on crime
• Lack of funding, with attempts to attract sponsorship hampered by NHC’s poor media image
• Councils ignoring Notting Hill Carnival’s financial contribution to the area
• Decline of artistry, particularly in terms of mas
• Poor route management, resulting in long delays on the route
• The need for carnival education in schools and beyond
• Councils’ lack of vision and enthusiasm for NHC
Soca News will provide a full report on the meeting.
By Stephen Spark