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Council cuts claim poetry competition and Cardiff in Bloom

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We’ll have no country fair, no poetry competition or garden festival. Cardiff council has announced that it will be making its budget this year – but at what cost?
The latest of Cardiff’s festivals and events to face cancellation due to cuts in funding, the annual Cardiff International Poetry Competition has been cancelled, after Cardiff Council withdrew funding.
The competition, which has been running for more than 25 years, has celebrated winners from as far afield as the USA, Canada, Norway, Australia and the Slovak Republic.
In previous years the competition has received generous funding from the council, yet in the wake of the budget announcement and increased pressures on the city’s finances, Literature Wales were informed this year’s competition would not go ahead.
Much discussion has been dedicated to the “tough decisions” faced by Cardiff Council in order to cut their budget shortfall of £124 million while protecting vital services. Today the council announced that: “The council is on target to bring in a balanced budget,” having begun implementing savings across a number of services.
Other summertime events that usually brighten the capital are no longer taking place, such as Cardiff Country Fair. Cardiff in Bloom, the city wide garden festival, has also been axed. Ruth Mumford, a mother of two from Whitchurch who runs the competition said: “ I am currently fully employed by Cardiff council but from April 1 I will have to go.
“Cardiff in Bloom has gone now after 20 odd years of it and I had just found 20 new jury last year for this year’s competition, which usually launched in April, was judged in July and the award took place in October.
“I understand why they have cut it although it is a shame, but things like Cardiff in Bloom are not core services like libraries and day centre’s. Cardiff Bloom was about people making their area look better and I really hope that people will still keep doing that because of their love for Cardiff and their gardening.”

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