Last year I wrote a very positive review of the Plumstead Make Merry (Est. 1978), which I wrote after having had a great time feeling very optimistic about the local area. I saw various local faces down there, got chatting with some of them, found out about the environment group’s excellent newsletter, saw various community workers, historians, and old friends, and bought a nice handmade basket and a mr whippy.
Fast forward to the brave new politics… Yesterday I read on 853blog that the council have withdrawn a grant of around £2500 to the make merry as part of their cuts programme. One perspective on this is that the council are pulling funds to high profile events such as this and blackheath fireworks to stir up anger about central government interference; another is that the most vital services (homecare, childcare, daycare) are being protected at the expense of items such as festivals, kidbrooke library, park rangers, teenage pregnancy services, youth services, connexions, park keeping, healthy schools, sheltered housing, voluntary groups and more as the council lose in the region of £65000000 this parliament.
Apparently the organisers are going to be guests of the in the meantime radio show this sunday, which is recorded and broadcast at the Queen Elizabeth hospital, and is usually available as a download by the following day. The radio show is well worth a listen in it’s own right: it has the homemade charm of resonance fm (although they haven’t misplaced the jingle yet); is doing a useful job of filling the news void left by Greenwich Time, Newsshopper, and Mercury; and has brilliant roving reports and interviews too, which none of the other hyperlocals have really attempted as yet.
Anyway, podcasts aside, the Plumstead Make Merry organisers are also planning a benefit bash on Saturday 16th April, and have a popular and informative facebook page.