Coronation costs: Sheffield City Council defends £85,000 spend on celebrations as people go hungry
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The authority said it helped thousands of people celebrate, raised civic pride and boosted the economy. Some criticised the spend at a time when services are underfunded and being cut, amid record demand for food banks.
King Charles III was crowned on Saturday. The council organised a party on Saturday and Sunday in the Peace Gardens and supported 100 community projects and 40 street parties, according to Gary Clifton, major events manager. He said the authority spent £56,500 of its own money and £28,500 from government.
He added: “This was a moment in history, with Sheffield gaining global coverage and as the fourth largest city in England. We are playing our part, having worked hard with communities and groups from across the city to celebrate and enjoy this momentous occasion.”
Some 15,000 people visited the city centre over the weekend, the authority said, it also played a ‘huge part’ in ‘Lighting up the Nation', a BBC initiative which saw Sheffield broadcast across the world. Figures on impact on the economy are expected within two months.
One in four people in Sheffield live in poverty, council figures show. Last month it said council tax was set to rise by almost five per cent to help the council balance a £69 million funding shortfall. A YouGov poll found two-thirds of the British public don't care very much (35 per cent) or at all (29 per cent) about the coronation.