Notting Hill Carnival (Supplementary) [3]

Session date: 
June 20, 2001
Question By: 
Angie Bray
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


I think that is right, and I understand that everybody is going into the discussion on what might have to happen next year with an open mind on precisely what you may settle on.

The Mayor: No: people are not going in with an open mind.

Angie Bray: I am certain that the boroughs are.

The Mayor: We had a meeting. Everybody present at the meeting agreed that we need a linear route - except Kensington. Westminster took that view, the police take that view, I take that view, and the Notting Hill Carnival Trust does. Kensington was not committing itself at that stage, so there is still an argument to be had to get there.

Angie Bray: You mentioned in your original answer that this year the floats will have a police officer attached to each one, which I think everybody will agree is a good idea. The problem seems to be that no one seems able yet to decide how many floats will be allowed on the route, and I know that you will have heard from both Westminster and from Kensington and Chelsea - and, I think, from the Met - that the preferred option would be some way of licensing the vehicles on the route to ensure that we can control the numbers - although it would be up to the Trust to decide which vehicles actually got the licence.

Having heard from all the agencies yesterday at your meeting, are you now prepared to throw your weight behind this idea as a way of making sure that the floats can get round in the proper time, and that we can have the earlier closure which I heard John Stevens say he was hoping to be able to deliver at this year's Carnival?

Supplementary To: 


Answer for Notting Hill Carnival (Supplementary) [3]

Answer for Notting Hill Carnival (Supplementary) [3]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I would love it if everyone knew who was turning up, and they had all been registered; but the simple reality of this is that a million or more people turn up -

Angie Bray: No, the floats.

The Mayor: Many of those floats will turn up at the last minute, and they will not have been regularised. We say, "We want you to go round the route at a set time," but they will turn up late, because they want to be on the route when it is dark - that is part of the buzz of Carnival. This is not manageable in the way that some events are. Even if Kensington, Westminster and the police all banned it tomorrow, it would still go ahead, and there is very little you can do about that number of people all turning up. So it is a very difficult process of management.

At the moment, the Notting Hill Carnival Trust, which has been very good and positive, is committed to changing the route and so on; and I am hopeful that this will have been sorted by next year. But I am very worried that we have not sorted it this year.