Kensal Green residents blast MP’s Notting Hill Carnival survey over ‘leading’ questions
PUBLISHED: 17:51 11 January 2016 | UPDATED: 17:58 11 January 2016
Kensal Green residents have accused their MP of attempting to “kill” Notting Hill Carnival after handing out a survey that they claim asks leading questions about ticketing the annual street party in future.
Residents living in the Kensington parliamentary constituency received the two-page questionnaire from Conservative MP Victoria Borwick through their doors last week.
The tick-box survey, which was sent out to 15,000 constituents living on the carnival procession route, asks for their views on the length, cost and impact of the two-day event, which draws over one million revellers to central London over the August bank-holiday weekend.
But a number of residents have claimed the survey asks a number of leading questions, designed to persuade residents to ticket the carnival to help fund the £8.2 million policing and clear-up costs of the festivities.
One question asks: “Ticketing has recently been introduced to help improve safety during New Year’s Eve in London. Would you be in favour of ticketing Notting Hill Carnival?”
A number of questions refer to problems of violence, anti-social behaviour and street-drinking associated with the carnival, which last year saw more than 400 arrests and 21 assaults on police officers.
Brent activist Sujata Aurora said: “I think it’s an attempt to kill it – there’s no doubt ticketing would kill it.
“I just don’t think the survey asked people what they liked about the carnival – it was all the negative aspects like knife crime and it was asking very leading questions.”
A spokeswoman for Ms Borwick said: “We sent out the survey because we really wanted to open the conversation and see what people wanted.
“Victoria hasn’t got a strong bias either way, but this is part of starting the debate.”
The results of the survey will be published in the coming months in a bid to kickstart public debate on ticketing and other issues related to the continued running of the carnival.
Are you a Kensal Green resident living on the carnival route? Do you think the event should be ticketed? Contact: Hannah.firstname.lastname@example.org