We call on Waltham Forest to restore the funding to the Leytonstone Festival on a permanent basis

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We call on Waltham Forest to restore the funding to the Leytonstone Festival on a permanent basis

This petition had 387 supporters


The 2015 Leytonstone Festival has, for the very first time in its 23 years of existence, been refused council funding, leaving a £15,000 shortfall in its £25,000 budget. The 11th-hour refusal was received by the Festival chair shortly before midnight on Tuesday 23rd June – a scant week before the opening of the Festival. However, four local wards - Cathall, Cann Hall, Leytonstone and Forest - saw fit to support the Festival with a combined sum of £5000. In view of this fact, it is extremely difficult to understand the rationale behind the council’s refusal to hand over a further £15,000.

What is affectionately termed ‘the best little festival in the world’, always features an astounding range of events for all tastes and all ages: in this year alone, and quite apart from its many musical and filmic events, there will be a pizza party, an Italian theatre premiere, a cheese-tasting and church tower tours. That’s a total of 170 separate events over 3 weeks – of which 80 are free to the public.

Former councillor Vi Gostling founded  the Festival. A Leytonstone resident for all of her 97 years, her involvement in the arts was legendary. In 2009 she was made an MBE for services to the community. Sadly Vi died last summer; many councillors attended her funeral, including council Leader Chris Robbins. I call on Waltham Forest to restore the funding on a permanent basis, thus honouring her memory in the most appropriate manner.



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