The future of Leicester's Diwali switch-on in doubt

Plus Suella Braverman vs multiculturalism, Gary Lineker and the Local Plan.

Photo of Diwali celebrations on Melton Road, part of the Golden Mile in Leicester

In focus

The future of Leicester's Diwali switch-on in doubt

TLDR: In a new Q&A-style session set up to give local councillors a chance to ask the city mayor and his cabinet questions, Sir Peter Soulsby said the £250,000 Diwali price tag was "unsustainable" and the council might not be able to continue paying for it.

The Hindu festival, which dominates Leicester's Golden Mile at the end of October and features a light switch-on and firework show, may have to look for funding elsewhere as the city mayor considers cutting funding.

Speaking to councillors, Sir Peter Soulsby said: "The funding that is for the wonderful Diwali Festival, which we are so proud of, is very substantial indeed both in the amount of money that goes into it, but also the amount of money that goes into it compared with other festivals. We are now being forced to reduce our spending".

"That's really unsustainable for the future, and we're going to have to find other ways of getting the funding that's necessary to make sure it can continue on both days", he added. 

"We are going to have to, at some point, say we need that commitment of the extra money a few good months in advance if we're really going to continue to spend a quarter of a million pounds a year".

The council is investigating the possibility of sponsorship to plug the funding gap.

The Golden Mile light switch-on will go as planned on 29 October this year. The fireworks display will follow this.

Weather forecast

🌦️ 🍃 This week: Autumn is well and truly here. It will be windy from Tuesday with sunshine and showers, some perhaps heavy. Winds may pick up throughout the week, and the weather will remain unsettled throughout the weekend.

⛅ 🌁 Next week: Temperatures are likely to be above average overall, perhaps hot at times depending on where you are, though there are some cool nights and a chance of early morning fog.

Source: Met Office

In the news

  • Home Secretary. Suella Braverman cites Leicester as a failed example of multiculturalism in a speech on migration. Read more
  • Gary Lineker. Following a row over Gary Lineker's social media posts, the BBC has published new rules for their presenters. Read more
  • Local Plan. The public can review the Local Plan early next year, including all comments and petitions to date. Read more
  • Black Boy pub. Developers will demolish the historic pub to make way for flats. Read more
  • Leicester Textiles Festival. The weather did not deter the new festival celebrating the city's textile heritage. Read more
  • Knitting Banksy. Syston's renowned knitter has left a heart-warming tribute to Melton Road's Wilko store. Read more
  • Diwali. The city will celebrate the switch-on's 40th anniversary on 29 October this year. Read more
  • Gold medal. Leicester-based Heather Avul, 50, took home first place in a full-body fitness sprint competition. Read more

What's On

🚨 – Last chance
💷 – Entry fee
🆓 – Free of charge

A new exhibition at Attenborough Arts Centre from The Stanley and Audery Burton Gallery at the University of Leeds raises pertinent questions about who has access to nature, where and how.

For Libraries Week, join this talk based on his book King Alfred's Daughter – the remarkable story of Æthelflæd, Lady of the Mercians, the heroine written out of history.

  • 🆓 Pinggg...K! – 3 October 2023 and every other Tuesday

Pinggg…K! is a regular fixture in Leicester Leicester, run by gay poet Bobba Cass. It features poets, artists and performers in its monthly free programme.

This unforgettable evening at Curve will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the remarkable contributions of the Windrush Generation and their incredible journeys since the arrival of the Empire Windrush in 1948.

This event will celebrate music from all over the world performed by pupils and music staff of Leicester Grammar School.

On the market

A GIF showing the interior of a beautiful three-bedroom property in Stoughton

Another stunning barn conversion today. This time, a beautiful three-bedroom property forms part of The Byways, a development on the edge of Stoughton, flanked by some of Leicestershire's most attractive rolling countryside.Another stunning barn conversion today. This time, a beautiful three-bedroom property forms part of The Byways, a development on the edge of Stoughton, flanked by some of Leicestershire's most attractive rolling countryside.

Price: £650,000

Check out this 3 bedroom barn conversion for sale on Rightmove
3 bedroom barn conversion for sale in Horseshoe Barn, Gaulby Lane, Stoughton, Leicestershire, LE2 for £650,000. Marketed by James Sellicks Estate Agents, Leicester

Sports highlights

by David Landwehr
  • Motorsport. Team Parker Racing achieved a double podium in the Porsche Sprint Challenge GB at the weekend. Joe Warhurst and Matt Armstrong took top-three finishes despite slick track conditions. Read more
  • Football. Leicester City fights for promotion as they maintain their seat at the top of the table. Read more
  • Rugby. England beat Chile 71-0 in the Rugby World Cup group stages as Leicester Tigers fielded seven players for the England squad. Read more

Food and drink

by David Landwehr
The Strawberries and Hazelnut Chocolate Pancakes (v) from KAI in St Martin's Quarter

The Strawberries and Hazelnut Chocolate Pancakes (v) from KAI in St Martin's Quarter were everything you could want in a brunch. The pancakes were an excellent combination of crunchy and fluffy. The fresh strawberries and luxurious chocolate topping washed down perfectly with a mimosa. The serving size was so generous I could not finish everything in one sitting.

Price: £9.50


HM Prison Leicester entrance

One from our friends at Cool As Leicester, HM Prison Leicester – but when? 

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