True to form the Mayor has gone big on celebrating New Year after ignoring Christmas. Apparently he spent more than ever on his pre-election firework display, some Â£1.3 million. According to the Mayor’s own count some 700,000 came out to play last night.
The fireworks were not the only cost of the evening. Add in the free travel, a bus journey costs 87p on average and a Tube journey costs Â£2.06 on average (see numbers here), allow for extra overtime/unsocial hours payments, and we are talking another couple of million. I’m not sure what the policing costs, again with substantial overtime/unsocial hours payments, might be but Â£1.5 million would not be a wild guess I suspect. You pretty quickly get to a total bill of Â£5 million. I can feel a couple of letters coming on.
I have been to one of these displays in the past and did enjoy it on the whole although I was a bit freaked out by the (lack of) crowd control on Westminster Bridge. I can’t help feeling that a more entrepreneurial mayor could get this thing sponsored and put on a good show without just forking out lots of cash on yet another of his bread and circuses style extravaganzas.