TORY councillors are trying to stop £200,000 being spent on a five-month cultural festival in Enfield.

The Labour-run Enfield Council has agreed to put the money towards The Enfield Festival, a flagship project to celebrate diverse communities in the borough and “promote Enfield as an active and creative place”.

The £200,000 was agreed by the council in March's budget and will contribute between May and September to a host of sports, arts, cultural and community events across the borough.

But Conservative councillors are trying to block the move, arguing the money could be better spent, including on preserving under threat library services.

In a report revealed this week, they argue: “Recent announcements of budget reductions in adult social services and in relation to the possible reduction of provision of library services in the deprived north east of Enfield mean that the grant should be redeployed to maintain on going services.”

The group of eight councillors say they support The Enfield Festival “in principle”, but are concerned it will damage community cohesion and lead to inequality.

A council officer, in proposing the use of the money, said the idea of not running the festival had been rejected because: “The initiative will provide opportunities to promote the borough widely and to bring local people together to participate in leisure, culture, libraries, parks and open spaces, community engagement, and volunteering.”

Among the planned spending is £80,000 for Enfield Cultural Festival, Edmonton Carnival, the World Sports Tournament, and the Big Dance Bus, £10,000 for youth events at Millfield Arts Centre, and £15,000 for Enfield Town Show.

Other events will get smaller amounts of funding or none at all, but will be boosted by appearing in council promotional leaflets and brochures.

It is hoped the festival will be repeated next year to coincide with the 2012 Olympics and provide a boost for Enfield's tourism industry.

Last year's Summer in Enfield 2010 brochure is seen as a forerunner to the festival, and is judged by council officers as “well received” in raising the profile of the borough.

A call-in meeting has been scheduled for Thursday, April 28, to ask for Councillor Bambos Charalambous to reconsider the decision to approve the money which he made earlier this month.