Bank Holiday Fun??
Reports in the Southend Echo earlier this month told us that this years 18th Annual Southend Shakedown organised by the Ace Cafe of London had been cancelled because organisers have been asked by Essex Police to contribute £4000 towards the costs.
Southend Police say this is less than a quarter of the cost of Policing the event. You might think this is a fair deal? Maybe each rider contributes £1.50 to take part, that would cover Essex Police entire budget for the event. How much money does 15,000 bikers enjoying a Bank Holiday Monday spend? Even if it is only £10 each then that is £150,000 to the local economy. So why not the Southend Trade Associations fund the event as they are the ones mainly profiting from the day?
Event Back On
Well, it looks like the bill has been paid! The Echo reported on Friday 18th March that twenty seafront traders have donated £100 each and Independent Councillor Paul van Looy, who runs Grumpy's Diner has paid the remaining £2,000. The Ace Cafe has now posted on Facebook: "Many seafront traders in Southend who warmly appreciate the Ace Cafe London "Southend Shakedown" have generously supported the event financially in order to help it take place"
What does this event entail? The riders gather at the Ace Cafe on the A406 at Stonebridge and ride in large Convoys down to Seaside for a day out. Southend Council sells some space for trade stands aimed at Bikers in the town and on the Seafront in order to cash in. The Ace Cafe organisers also encourage Charity Fundraising as part of the events they organise, which for this one is aimed at Childrens Charities. This is quite apt as a Bank Holiday day out is mainly about Children.
However, what is to stop all these guys and gals just meeting up in Southend for a Grand Day Out? Nothing!!!
The locals would still see the spectacle of large groups of Bikers Riding into Southend. If 15,000 bikers decided to meet up in Southend you cannot avoid them bunching up on the A127 as they arrive. Everyone would still get to admire their beautifully polished and cared for machines.
So Who Would Loose Out?
Well Essex Police wouldn't get the money they are asking for. Is that a problem?? An event like this should not require a Police presence? Southend Supt Wells was quoted saying "A small minority of riders who are not necessarily involved in the event have been known to ride dangerously, which has caused concerns for residents. Our road policing team dealt with a number of prosecutions involving a minority of riders." Should the organisers have to pay for the policing of people not involved in the event? Is it possible that because there are more police actually out "on the beat" looking for offenders that they actually find them? A sort of self fulfilling prophecy?
Don't we already pay for the Police services as part of our Council Tax? Why should the Minority spoil it for the Majority. Is this the thin end of the wedge were when dialling 999 because you've been burgled that you are connected to a credit card machine before an officer comes to even check that you are okay?
The Long Range Forecast?
Well, it could be that the Police have received their money this year. No doubt that will increase next year as central government cut all budgets and our Public Services. So make the most of this years Shakedown, I can see the arguments growing faster than the budget! Next year this could go the same way as the Southend Air Show. Nose-Dive!
Oh you wanted the Weather Forecast? Well with a week to go it currently looks like it's going to be wet and blustery! It's a Bank Holiday, what did you expect!! Keep your fingers crossed the forecasters have got the weather wrong and enjoy these photo's from 2014 when it was glorious!!
All Images are Copyright Graham Eva Photography. You can see more at my Gallery or to enquire about an event you would like Graham to attend get in touch Here. These views are solely my views and do not reflect those of anybody else either directly or indirectly