Planning begins for Brockley MAX 2011

Planning for next year's Brockley MAX has already begun, with the first meeting about 2011 scheduled this weekend. This year, buoyed by the decent weather, the MAX upped its game, staging more events and pulling in more people than ever before.

The aim now must surely be to build on this momentum and create a festival that attracts people from across the city, without sacrificing its home-made charm. To do that will take more money, meaning that each of the participating electoral wards should contribute via their locality funds.

This year, the MAX organisers' application for funding from Crofton Park Ward Assembly was turned down on the basis that the Councillors didn't believe it did a lot for their area but Cllr Addison promised to attend this year's festivities to see for herself whether the MAX deserved support in future. We hope she will have been convinced, especially with Crofton Park venues like Jam Circus, Mr Lawrence and the cemetery playing such an important role this year.

If individual wards want to ask for a greater number of events in their area in return for funding that should be achievable - the organisers have consistently shown themselves willing to expand the MAX's roster and design an inclusive programme.

The invitation to the Mayor to officially open Hilly Fields playground on the same day as the festival finale was a smart move, ensuring that he too was on hand to see how much is achieved with relatively little public funding.

Lewisham's local papers also deserve credit for supporting the festival so well this year, with the SLP publishing a full page of photos from the festival.

Brockley Central has always espoused a 'greater Brockley' vision of the area, with Ladywell, Telegraph Hill, Brockley and Crofton Park wards effectively forming one cohesive community. The Brockley MAX, which straddles three of these and employs talent and attracts visitors from all four is the best expression of 'greater Brockley'. The MAX should grow and the wards should work together to help it - even if one day we have to drop the 'Brockley' from 'Brockley MAX'.