I know times are hard but I was a little surprised to see this begging bucket tied to the bar of the Hare and Billet pub in Blackheath last night:
BLACKHEATH Fireworks needs YOU! reads the sign although a little symbol hidden around the side revealed that it's actually LEWISHAM COUNCIL that needs YOU!
I was aware that Greenwich had pulled their share of funding for the event, and that Lewisham were now asking for donations and selling VIP tickets to pay for theirs.
But to actually dish out what looks like charity buckets is going just a step too far in my opinion.
Personally I think the fireworks display is a great event that brings masses of people out onto the heath and boosts trade.
But either Lewisham think they should be funding it out of council tax or they don't.
And if they don't then they should just be honest about it rather than pretending that a few tossed pennies in the Hare and Billet will foot the bill.
Of course they could always go down the Boris Johnson route:
"This year, Mr Johnson has also decided to make savings on the New Year fireworks display.
The display has been reduced from 10 minutes to seven and a half minutes, costing £325,000 instead of the £500,000 of last year.
City Hall is also considering moving it to the Olympic Park in east London because security would be cheaper than in the centre of the capital."
Or they could just put their hands in their pockets and stump up the cash. Choices, choices...
Out of interest I had a little shake of the bucket before I left the pub last night. I reckon there was about half a dozen coins in there.
I don't think next year's will be much of a display.