NEXT year’s Spalding Flower Parade looks likely to be the last one in the event’s long history.
Although a 2013 parade is almost a certainty, its long-term future looks bleak after the county council confirmed it will be cutting its contribution.
Lincolnshire County councillor Eddy Poll says he is “90 per cent sure” there will be a 55th parade next year, but added: “I am more certain it will be the last one.
“It will be a shame for South Holland and I think the residents and businesses won’t realise what they have got until it’s gone.
“Flower parade day is a big pay day for the churches and lots of other businesses. They all benefit to a greater or lesser degree, and it will be noticed if it stops.”
Coun Poll believed that budget restrictions would mean the end of Spalding Flower Parade after 2013.
South Holland District Council – which has contributed £40,000 a year towards the parade for the last three years – has indicated it will do so again in 2013.
Nick Worth, portfolio holder for community development for South Holland District Council, said: “We will renegotiate what we are going to do depending on what our finances are. That’s not saying we are not going to do it, that’s the reality of where we are.
“We are very supportive of it. Councillors who went to the parade this year all said it was really good so with that in mind it would be surprising if we didn’t support it.”
Kenyon Communications was appointed by the main funders, the county council, to organise the parade for the past couple of years and has been asked to bring in more sponsors to make the event more self-sustaining.
Coun Worth said it would not be known what the district council was being asked to pay until a meeting between the two councils and Kenyon. He added: “There is a ground swell of support so unless we get hammered by the government we are supportive of it, but we won’t know that until October or November.
“We’ll make an “in principle” decision in three weeks’ time based on what we know of the budget now and once we know what the budget details are we can confirm it then. I think at this stage it’s positive.”