Greenwich pulls out of Blackheath fireworks has confirmed that Greenwich Council has cut its support for the Blackheath bonfire night firework display, which previously it had joint-funded with Lewisham Council.

It quotes a Greenwich Council spokesperson as saying:

The Council has reluctantly taken the decision not to fund the event this year, having been advised to anticipate up to 40% cuts to its grant, representing some £70m when the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review is published on 20 October. The Council is committed to maintaining front line services and has a strong track record of identifying efficiency savings, which has enabled us to freeze council tax in six of the last 12 years.

If we'd spent a little less time trying to think of a punning headline when we first reported it, and a little more time reading Lewisham Council's initial release, we might have spotted Greenwich Council's absence and the conditional nature of Lewisham's commitment. Blackheath Village is the focal point for the revellers so if there are commercial benefits for local businesses from staging the event, then Lewisham borough, rather than Greenwich will be the main beneficiary, which may explain the difference of opinion between the two councils.

It's not clear whether the fireworks will be cancelled if the public don't donate enough money or if Lewisham Council's commitment and the private sponsorship already secured will be enough to stage a serviceable event in any case.

Before the Blackheath firework display was established, when Brockley Central was a boy, we used to go to the display at Kidbrooke House, in Westcombe Park, which was organised by that area's equivalent of BrocSoc - the Westcombe Society. A smaller, but more fun event than the Blackheath show, it cost a few quid to get in and was therefore killed off when the free Blackheath show was introduced. If Blackheath can't now survive without public donations, then perhaps we will see the return of events organised by local societies. We'd much rather pay to support a small event on Hilly Fields, even if the bangs were less impressive.

The other thing we missed out last time was the link for anyone interested in donating to the display.