Ahead of the bank holiday this weekend, Kensington and Chelsea council has been forced to defend its scheme which provides elderly residents with a free holiday during Notting Hill carnival.
Kensington and Chelsea council posted on X to say it was funding residents in the area to go to the seaside because of the in convenience the celebrations would cause, particularly to those who are older. This is supported by the charity, Age UK.
What does the carnival scheme say?
The council’s website confirms that the scheme in partnership with Age UK has been going for 20 years and it further confirms that it is only open to pensioners in the area impacted by the ‘noise and crowds of the Carnival’.
Spaces are limited and priority is given to those who meet certain requirements set out in the eligibility criteria. Residents will be able to travel down to a hotel in Eastbourne by coach on Saturday 26 August and enjoy three nights in a hotel before returning to their homes on Tuesday 29 August – when Carnival is over and the Council has finished the clear up.
However, misinformation has spread online, with someone stating on X that the borough gives £3,000 per household to go away for the weekend because of the ‘inconvenience’ carnival brings them. The council therefore had to step in to explain the scheme.
Some have defended the council online. A user wrote: “Come on. The ‘wealthy elderly white people’ everyone’s angry about are not gonna be applying for a seaside coach trip to Eastbourne. It’s for elderly who are gonna struggle to get out, shop for food and access care during the huge crowds for three days through Age UK. Such misinformation.”
Emma Will, lead member for Culture, Leisure, and Community Safety said: “The Carnival brings together people from all places to enjoy and celebrate the rich culture and diversity in the borough and we’re happy to support the event, but we also respect that the noise and crowds are not for everybody.
“We are once again proud to be working with Age UK to organise a trip for our older residents, so they enjoy a break at the seaside over the bank holiday weekend.”
The debate around the scheme demonstrates the way misinformation is easily spread online. The scheme enables elderly people in the area to be effectively supported as at such a busy time, it would be difficult for some to leave their houses or have their specific care needs met.