Organisers of one of Europe's biggest gatherings of Filipinos say Hounslow Council is holding them back from making the event a real success.

Thousands of revellers descended on Hounslow's Lampton Park this weekend as the Barrio Fiesta finally took place two months after being cancelled at the last minute.

The Filipino festival - now in its 24th year - was scheduled for July 19 and 20, only for officials to pull the plug days beforehand due to safety fears. But it was rescheduled after organisers at the Philippine Centre allayed concerns about traffic management and fire safety.

An estimated 35,000 attended the two-day celebration, which featured traditional Filipino music and dance performances as well as dozens of stalls and other diversions.

A Philippine Centre spokesman praised the help given by the fire brigade and police both before and during the festival but called on Hounslow Council to get behind the event, which costs s160,000 to put on.

"It's a great event to have in Hounslow, because there's not many in town which pull in that size of crowd," he said. "If the council gave us a bit more support, we think it could be much more successful.

"Financially we struggle and make losses and it would be nice if they would take a bit more of an active role, perhaps by waiving the park fees or collecting the rubbish for us rather than us hiring a private contractor."

A council spokeswoman said: “The council worked closely with the organisers of Barrio Fiesta and the Philippine Centre to develop a comprehensive management plan and provides this level of support each and every year. The plan is required to ensure all safety requirements are met. Both the fire and police services are also involved in the process.
 
"The council recognises that events of this kind contribute significantly to the profile and well being of the borough and works with a number of leisure and cultural organisers on a range of projects throughout the year.
 
"An event of this kind over two days generates a high level of rubbish and waste. We expect this rubbish to be cleared by the event organisers to a level of cleanliness that our local tax-paying residents expect."