Bideford Town Council pledged its full support for fireworks on New Year’s Eve but said the other celebrations had ‘dwindled’ - but Gazette readers don’t agree.
Gazette readers have been voting in a poll on whether New Year’s Eve’s celebrations should continue in Bideford – and the result is a resounding yes.
More than 300 people have voted, with 74 per cent saying they want to see the event continue, after the town council made remarks it was ‘disappointing’.
Bideford town councillors discussed on Thursday, May 11, how they felt New Year’s Eve had ‘dwindled’ in recent years, and that people only arrived for the fireworks.
They agreed to allocate a grant of £7,000 towards the fireworks, but said they did not wish to see the other elements, such as the roadshow and funfair, continue.
Speaking to the Gazette, new Bideford mayor Dermot McGeough said his personal opinion was that he would like to see the celebrations continue.
He said: “I’m in support of the New Year’s Eve celebrations; it generates revenue for businesses in the town such as bed and breakfasts and of course the bars.
“It brings people into the town and it is spread out over the whole day, so it benefits the whole community, including people with children.”
Mr McGeough deferred the discussion at the full town council meeting to be decided on by the council’s staffing, finances and general purposes committee.
And readers have also hit back after organisers told the Gazette they would ‘regretfully’ not be able to continue the celebrations without ‘proper support’.
In our poll, only 14 per cent of people wished for just fireworks on New Year’s Eve. Twelve per cent wanted no celebrations.
And on our Facebook page there has been a mixed reaction.
Adam Drake said: “The fireworks have and always will be the biggest talking point of NYE at Bideford and it remains one of the top locations in the UK for the display.
“I can’t imagine why that would stop?!”
Austin Wallas also praised the displays and said: “Let’s give the budget a boost and unlock the biggest pyrotechnics display this side of London.”
Lyn Westwood suggested the event ‘needs to be bigger, and better entertainment’, while Cynthia Oliver said just a longer fireworks display would be ‘brilliant’.
But some were not in support of the pyrotechnics. Sue Way said: “Please no more fireworks the ones we have are too many.
“Don’t want to be a party pooper but dogs are terrified; I dread New Years Eve for this reason, and the poor starlings under the bridge, let’s think of the creatures.”
What do you think? There is still a chance to get involved by voting in our poll above, and commenting on the thread on our Facebook page.