MD2017 Notting Hill Carnival 2016

Type of decision: 
Mayoral decision
Date signed: 
19 August 2016
Decision by: 
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London

Executive summary

London Notting Hill Carnival Enterprises Trust (LNHCET) has submitted a plan to increase stewarding at Notting Hill Carnival 2016, to support their long-term strategic planning to help the event become more self-sustainable and less reliant on policing support over time and improve the community ownership of the event.  Implementation of this enhanced plan requires additional funding support from the GLA of £190,000.



That the Mayor:

•    Approves additional expenditure of £190,000 to grant fund the London Notting Hill Carnival Enterprises Trust to support the enhanced stewarding plan for Notting Hill Carnival 2016.

•    Notes that £150,000 funding has already been agreed for the basic stewarding plan 2016, and therefore the total GLA grant funding towards stewarding at Notting Hill Carnival in 2016 will be £340,000.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    London Notting Hill Carnival Enterprises Trust (LNHCET) has submitted a plan to increase stewarding at Notting Hill Carnival 2016, to support their long-term strategic planning to help the event become more self-sustainable and less reliant on policing support over time and improve the community ownership of the event.  They are requesting GLA funding to support this plan, at a cost of £190,000 (in addition to the £150,000 funding already committed to support stewarding, as approved via MD1576).  This budget increase is funded from within the 2016/17 External Relations minor programme budget.

1.2    Notting Hill Carnival is a great celebration of Caribbean culture and one of London's highest profile public events, attracting people not only from across the capital, but the UK and overseas. With an estimated 1 million attendees over the weekend it is Europe’s largest carnival event.

1.3    The carnival community is currently celebrating ‘50 Years of Carnival’ – marking the three years the different elements of Carnival began in 1964, 1965 and 1966. 

1.4    The event takes place over the August bank holiday weekend, when Notting Hill is transformed into a sea of vibrant colours as 60 bands in magnificent costumes dance to the tantalizing rhythms of the mobile sound systems or steel bands.  There are 5 different Carnival ‘arenas’, as follows:

•    Carnival Arts and Masquerade Foundation (CAMF), 
•    Caribbean Music Association (CMA),
•    British Association of Static Sounds (BASS),
•    British Association of Steelbands (BAS), and 
•    Association of British Calypsonians (ABC).

1.5    Notting Hill Carnival also reflects diverse art elements, cultural identity and heritage, and community cohesion.  It also celebrates the history of Carnival.  Additionally, it has an impact through the work that is built up over the year, for example through the Carnival Arts Education Programmes.

1.6    Unlike many other large-scale events, Notting Hill Carnival has developed organically as opposed to being driven by a single group or individual.  As such the lines of responsibility and management have never firmly been drawn.  Whilst there is an ‘overseeing body’ London Notting Hill Carnival Enterprises Trust, it is presented with significant challenges around resources (financial and physical) and getting a fully ‘joined up’ plan from the individual arenas and their components.  

1.7    This and the sheer numbers of people attending the event, has resulted in the need for a significant police presence on the ground.  This has occasionally resulted in community conflict, and does not present a particularly positive image for Carnival.  The carnival community themselves would like to see a larger stewarding versus policing presence at the event, but do not have the resources to implement this without additional funding.

1.8    The bid for additional stewards is an outcome of a review of the stewarding operation and a strategic plan to try to reduce, over time, the policing resource and costs.  It is felt that this would also have wider benefits of LNHCET having more responsibility for the event, improve community relations, presenting the ‘softer’ look for Carnival and potentially making it more attractive to sponsors.

1.9    The stewarding is being provided by a professional stewarding company McKenzie Arnold who were procured at the end of last year, when the Trust undertook an open tender process for a 3-year contract.

1.10    The funding will support an extra 160 stewards on the Saturday, 485 on Sunday and 615 on the Bank holiday Monday, including higher visibility stewarding in the early hours and late evenings and an increased manpower in some targeted areas.

1.11    The LNHCET estimates that the proposed additional funding support of £190,000 could result in up to £430,000 savings of policing costs and additional potential savings in logistics. It should be noted, that the proposed new stewarding plan could potentially allow for even greater savings through reduction in police numbers, however, for year one, the MPS would not pull out all of this potentially ‘saved’ resource until the stewarding company can demonstrate it can deliver the agreed plan successfully.  Police savings are predominantly achieved via changes in shift timings and operations/logistics, which can be achieved due to a more robust stewarding plan.  The MPS would have a greater level of contingent reserves to support the proposed new stewarding plan, but also enable the police to focus on its core duty in the prevention of crime and disorder.  


Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    As noted above, the Trust estimates that potential savings of £430,000 can be achieved by the MPS as a result of GLA investing £190,000 additional funding into the Carnival stewarding plan. This expected saving will need to be confirmed by the MPS after the event. 

2.2    There is a longer-term objective of LNHCET becoming less reliant on public funds, but this is dependent on them being able to increase the positive profile of Carnival in the eyes of sponsors.  A greater visible focus on stewards, rather than policing, at the event, will help. The Trust will be required to produce an evaluation of the new stewarding and security operation put in place this year, as well as a sponsorship plan which sets out how income will be increased over the coming years to address this increase in expenditure.  


Equality comments

3.1    Notting Hill Carnival is one of London’s largest cultural events, delivered primarily by London’s Black Caribbean and other minority communities.   As a BAME community-delivered event that has international profile, there are limited resources to provide the infrastructure that an event of this scale requires.  By providing this funding, we are supporting its safe and successful delivery, both for the community and London. 

3.2    The event is planned to be inclusive and aimed at all Londoners, culturally and socially. Community stakeholders groups, such as the Notting Hill Carnival Trust are engaged in the planning and promotion of the Carnival and ensure that the Carnival is appropriate and representative of the community for which the event promotes. 

Other considerations

a) key risks and issues; 
•    Whilst there is a requirement to reduce the visible presence of policing at Notting Hill Carnival, and ultimately the public sector cost, it is important that at this time of increased security risk, the policing resource remains appropriate to the current threat levels.  Furthermore, without this additional stewarding support, there is likely to be a requirement put on the policing resource to support roles that could easily be covered by stewards, thus taking them away from their core responsibility of crime and disorder prevention.
•    There is a risk that the Trust does not increase sponsorship and that this additional funding may be requested from the GLA next year. Any such request would be considered on its own merits and this year’s provision should not be seen as a precedent. In addition, the risk is being mitigated by GLA making this year’s funding subject to following to be provided by November 2016 in good time for all parties to consider the best approach for 2017: 
1) an evaluation produced by the MPS after the event of the actual savings in policing costs 
2) an evaluation produced by the Trust in conjunction with McKenzie Arnold of the effectiveness of the new stewarding plan and 
3) a detailed sponsorship plan produced by the Trust setting out how it will allow delivery of its five-year Business Plan to 2019-20

b) Mayoral Strategies and priorities;
•    This is in line with the Mayor’s manifesto commitment to ‘continue to back major cultural festivals to celebrate London’s religious and racial diversity’.

c) Impact and assessments;
•    The impact and assessment of the event will be through the multi-agency planning process (Operational, Safety Planning Group) and other sub groups, including Westminster City Council, London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, MPS, TfL, LAS, LFB, Notting Hill Carnival Trust and other key stakeholders. This is to ensure that the event is delivered safely and adheres to the regulations regarding Licencing, noise, crowd management and infrastructure. 
•    The Notting Hill Trust engages with the wider community and stakeholders to ensure that the community is represented from all generations. Public correspondence, via the GLA Public Liaison, WCC and RBCK and market research at the event is also considered for future planning of events where negative comments and improvement suggestions are made and may be reasonably implemented.


Financial comments

5.1    MD1576 approved the initial award to London Notting Hill Carnival Enterprises Trust of £150,000 to support the stewarding plan for the carnival. As noted within the main body of this report, it is being proposed that an additional £190,000 is provided to the trust to support an enhanced stewarding plan via a funding agreement. Inclusive of this proposal, the total funding being made available to the London Notting Hill Carnival Enterprise Trust in 2016 will be £340,000.

5.2    The additional grant award of £190,000 will be funded from the 2016-17 Events for London Minor Programme budget approved as part of the GLA budget setting process for 2016-17. Any changes to this proposal, including budgetary implications will be subject to further approval via the Authority’s decision-making process. All appropriate budget adjustments will be made.  

Planned delivery approach and next steps

7.1       The project delivery timeline is outlined below:



Announcement (event announcement)

22 July 2016

Delivery Start Date

28 August 2016

Final evaluation start and finish (self/)

14 September 2016

Delivery End Date

31 October 2016

Project Closure:



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