Parade is ‘showcase for district’

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THE prospect of losing Spalding Flower Parade is not the biggest concern of local retailers, according to their spokesman.

The greatest concern would be the loss of a showcase for the district, according to Phil Scarlett, president of Spalding and District Area Chamber of Commerce.

As revealed in Tuesday’s Lincolnshire FreePress, next year’s parade is likely to be the last, as a result of government cuts to funding to district and county councils.

Lincolnshire County councillor Eddy Poll has said that while he is “90 per cent sure” there will be a 55th parade next year, he is “more certain it will be the last one”.

Coun Poll described parade day as a “big pay day for the churches and lots of other businesses”.

However, Mr Scarlett claimed local businesses didn’t benefit, other than those in the food and drinks sector.

He said: “We may well lose our showcase and that’s the biggest concern. It’s not just about the money it generates on the day.”

He hoped the parade would not disappear completely but would be done differently, perhaps in static displays and combined with the food festival.

The Rev Anthony Walker, chairman of Churches Together in Spalding & District, thought church flower festivals would continue to flourish.