‘Stupid waste of money’: Hackney Council’s £750 grants for coronation parties met with backlash from residents

King Charles, pictured in 2012 when he was Prince of Wales. Photograph: Wikicommons

Grants to help coronation parties in Hackney go with a swing have been met with a backlash – with some residents saying the money would be better spent on tackling the cost-of-living crisis.

Hackney Council is giving communities in council homes grants of up to £750 to celebrate the coronation of King Charles III on Saturday 6 May.

However, some think the money should instead be used to help people who are struggling financially.

Book illustrator Dapo Adeola suggested: “If you live in Hackney, you should apply for this grant and then donate it towards school meals for children in your borough.”

Chesca Walton, who stood as a Green party candidate for Hoxton East and Shoreditch in last May’s elections, tweeted: “I can think of at least 100 ways off the top of my head that would be a better use of this money for Hackney.”

Local resident Nigel Whitfield branded it “stupid waste of money”, adding: “I live in Hackney and I can’t think of anyone who gives a **** about this man.”

He said the money should be used to “feed the poor”.

Green councillor Alastair Binnie-Lubbock said: “I don’t understand why Hackney Council residents are subsidising these coronation parties.

“Surely if one of the richest men in the world wants us to celebrate him getting his first ‘job’ at the age of 74, especially one that comes with a shiny £4 billion hat, he could at least pay for the bunting and cucumber sandwiches himself.”

The council said the money comes from its community development fund.

This is earmarked “for projects that can reignite the borough’s rich culture, foster the local sense of community and bring Hackney together”.

It cannot be used for the council’s “general expenditure”.

A Town Hall spokesperson said: “This fund comprises money from housing residents via an annual tenant’s levy and previous underspends on the aerial mast fund. Residents determine how these funds are used.”

He added: “We understand that there are different views about the coronation and funding for the monarchy. However, many residents wish to use their funding to celebrate royal events and this fund offers them the opportunity to do so.

“Previous parties and celebrations held on estates have proved to be a good way to bring the community together and form new social networks.”

The council launched a £5m cost-of-living support package last autumn and has helped people claim for benefits through its new Money Hub.

It has also published a cost-of-living support guide.

Residents can apply for a coronation event grant until the 3 April deadline.

People can also apply to close roads so they can stage street parties. They need to apply at least four weeks before their event.

Last year, the council had a record number of applications for funding up to £500. Events included a dance workshop at Trowbridge Seniors’ Club, music and bouncy castles at Wenlock Barn, and a dog show on Albion Drive.

East London council Newham is another of a number of local authorities offering grants for community events. It is giving groups up to £500.