CARNIVAL bosses have warned future events are under threat due to a lack of donations.

Wellington Carnival Committee has announced this year's procession, one they are calling the 'best' the town has seen for years, fell short of hitting the desired amount of donations.

They say the amount raised from collections, £2,370, is already not enough to cover next year's event.

Dave Rylatt, chairman, said: "Despite bigger crowds watching the best carnival that Wellington has seen for many years and the fine weather, the count totalled £2370, down £345 from last year.

"Our collection included one ten pound note, and eight five pound notes, the rest was coinage, including over 18,500 two pence pieces and more than 28,600 pennies.

"We have yet to count a jar full of foreign coins (we can exchange some of them), but there is no value in the buttons, sweets, batteries and washers that make their way into our collection. There is also no value to any of the coins with writing that we are unable to pronounce, let alone ascertain where in the world they originate from.

"The costs associated with a carnival are immense; with insurance costs of over £2,000, prize money of £1,500 and a collection of £2,370 as a starter, you don't need to be a mathematician to determine the event is not viable in its own right."

Mr Rylatt said pedlars selling flashing toys are taking away from the committee's proceeds, meaning less money is available to donate to charity and to cover the costs of the event.

Unless more people come forward to help out, the chairman says the carnival cannot continue.

He added: "It is evident that raising money to give away to charity each year is becoming more difficult, our own stalwart collector Madge Covey was out in town all day and managed to collect £105, which is yet another brilliant effort by Madge, but down by half of what she collected last year.

"The only people who continue to make lots of money from carnival are the pedlars who descend on our town from as far away as Liverpool; unfortunately without more people to support us selling our own novelty toys or help us collect, we are not able to compete.

"So what is the future of carnival in Wellington? The few but dedicated committee members that work with us will have to work even harder behind the scenes to make up the deficit by running events such as street fair, Christmas float, and china smash.

"Our committee will meet once the dust settles, but ultimately this traditional Somerset event is under threat.

"Unless more people come forward to volunteer to help and run a safe, successful and profitable event, Wellington Carnival cannot continue."