THE organisers of Pinner's annual St George's Day celebrations have said they are confident the 2011 event will be going ahead.
Fears had been raised that a lack of support from Harrow Borough Council would leave a hole in the event's budget next year, but following a meeting between the two parties, organiser Gordon Williams has told the Observer the celebrations are safe.
The council had earlier said they could make 'no promises' as to providing the s1,300 cost of road closures for the festivities in 2011. But the authority have now committed to a s1,000 grant to cover the events programme, featuring traditions like the wheelbarrow race and morris dancing, among other patriotic activities.
Following the meeting with council officials on Friday (16), Mr Williams said: "The council said that I can plan ahead for the 2011 event. The question of the road closures has always been a bone of contention but as far as the events are concerned that comes out of a community pot and is already in the budget.
"The road closures can't be determined until the next administration is elected on 6 May, but I have had assurances that I can plan on the basis of the s1,000 grant for events organising.
"We will be going ahead in 2011."
Mr Williams said there were several possibilities should the s1,300 road closure cost not be met by the council, including fundraising. "I think it [the money] will be found," he continued.
"But if it is not, it is not actually necessary to close the road. It is only a recent move made for health and safety reasons, as a precaution. We can work around it with the police."
A council spokesman said: "We support the Pinner event every year with a s1,000 grant. It is our plan next year to provide support but we can't promise to fund the road closures.
"We have given the organisers a year's notice to find alternative funding if necessary."
The 2010 event takes place as normal this Sunday (25), with Pinner High Street closed off to traffic. As usual, a mixture of charity fundraising, street entertainers and performances are expected to draw in a large crowd.