Londoners should to be given early access to tickets for London’s iconic London New Year’s Eve fireworks , Labour London Assembly Member Fiona Twycross has proposed. Dr Twycross reissued her call for a portion of tickets for to be reserved for those who live in the capital after the Mayor of London admitted that just over a quarter of tickets for the 2015 fireworks went to Londoners despite London taxpayers funding of the event.
The Mayor of London confirmed only 28% of the 106,428 tickets sold for the 2015 fireworks went to residents living in the capital. Ticketing for the event was introduced in 2014 in an attempt to better control crowds.
The £10 tickets are priced to cover only the cost of the ticketing infrastructure, leaving London taxpayers to foot the bill for hosting the event despite it being seen as a national celebration. The Mayor confirmed that the total cost for the 2015 fireworks was £3.1m. With only £758,831 raised by ticket sales, the additional £2.3m was met by London taxpayers and event sponsorship. Whilst City Hall said income from ticket revenue and commercial revenue including catering concessions, filming fees and partnership contributions went towards the fireworks, the Mayor admitted this only covered ‘part’ of the costs.
Dr Twycross welcomed that tickets prices only reflect necessary administration costs but said that Londoners should be given priority access to tickets, with a portion reserved for London residents to buy until a month or two before the event. Without such protections Dr Twycross warned that Londoners, who contribute significantly to the event through their taxes, could end up missing out.
Labour’s London Assembly Economic Spokesperson, Dr Fiona Twycross AM said:
“London’s New Year’s Eve fireworks are an iconic event and something the capital should be incredibly proud of. Given it is London taxpayers who stump up the cash to fund the fireworks, we really should give them a fair chance at getting tickets. It’s ridiculous that less than a third of tickets for last year’s sell-out event went to people who live in the capital despite massive demand.
“Of course it benefits the capital to encourage tourism but it wouldn’t hurt the next Mayor to consider reserving a portion, say half, of the tickets for Londoners until a month or so before or at least for residents in the capital to get early access to tickets so they don’t miss out.”