Council defends spending on Barking Folk Festival

PUBLISHED: 18:30 16 November 2016

Billy Bragg headlined Barking Folk Festival in 2015. Picture: PA Images.

Billy Bragg headlined Barking Folk Festival in 2015. Picture: PA Images.

PA Archive/Press Association Images

The council has defended their £34,000 spending increase on a music event.

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request by the Post gave a breakdown of costs for the Barking Folk Festival, which in June attracted 8,000 music-lovers to acts such as Badly Drawn Boy and Seth Lakeman.

The figures show that Barking and Dagenham Council spent £48,000 on the free festival this year, up from £14,000 in 2015.

But the FOI also reveals that the increase was down to a £30,000 one-off public health grant in 2015, with total spending actually cut this year from £87,000 to £81,000. Business sponsorship made up £33,000, down from £43,000.

A council spokeswoman confirmed the total cost of the festival did not increase, adding: “The overall council costs for the whole summer of festivals programme is contained within an allocated budget, which will not be exceeded.”

The festival is set to return next year.

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