A community event set to take place on a town’s park this month has been postponed. A number of Cheadle Town councillors, with help from members of the community, had been working towards hosting a family fun event at Tean Road Recreation Grounds this coming weekend in conjunction with the last few days of this year’s Cheadle Wakes fun fair.
A community event set to take place on a town’s park this month has been postponed.
A number of Cheadle Town councillors, with help from members of the community, had been working towards hosting a family fun event at Tean Road Recreation Grounds this coming weekend in conjunction with the last few days of this year’s Cheadle Wakes fun fair.
However, it was recently voted by Cheadle Town Council to postpone the event.
Councillor Paulette Upton, who had been taking the lead on organising the event, told the Times & Echo: “The next event planned using the Welcome Back Fund was to be a weekend family fun event on the recreation ground aimed to encourage people to have confidence to come back to our open spaces following many months of isolation and uncertainty with the pandemic.
“Councillor Gary Bentley and I worked hard to organise this, within a short time frame, but councillors then decided to call an extraordinary meeting and were not happy with the date of the event or with how it was being organised. This being despite several personal emails I had received off councillors offering suggestions and help.
“The meeting was poorly attended but a vote was held and it went for ‘postponement’ of the event.
“Councillors obviously had a poor understanding of the fund and how it works despite my explaining this at several previous meetings.
“I took this to be a vote of no confidence in my capabilities to lead on the Welcome Back Fund project and stepped down as lead.”
Cllr Upton added: “I am also considering my position as a town councillor as I question whether I am making a difference in the role and whether I can continue to stomach the bureaucracy of local government.”
Cllr Bentley said of the decision to postpone the event: “It is with great disappointment that this weekend’s event on the park has been cancelled.
“With it looking set to be a red hot Saturday, it would have been nice to have a music stage and a bar on the park for an event which had been led by the people who organised the successful Welcome Back to the High Street event less than a month ago.
“It would have been good to continue with that success. We had been hoping that it would give people a nice – and free – end of Summer event funded by the European Union, not the tax payer.”
Cllr Bentley added: “Everything was organised – the bar, the marquee and music, etc, but it has all been pulled at the eleventh hour.
“Cheadle park is the only one owned by Cheadle Town Council and when we put on the High Street event, we had been encouraged to use our own land for the fun fair, rather the SMDC run car park.
“We also wanted to hold this event on the park to further support Mr Warwick and his fun fair.”
The Times & Echo contacted the town council office with regards to the decision to postpone the event to which Town Clerk Dave Mullington said: “Cheadle Town Council held an Extraordinary Meeting on Tuesday, August 31 to consider events under the Government ‘Welcome Back Fund,’ and to determine the proposed events that were already in place.
“Events taking place under this funding are subject to certain criteria, and councillors felt that events should be aligned with the High Street and town centre as much as possible.
“We have already held a very successful event in August, which hopefully bought some much needed optimism and hope after a difficult period of uncertainty.
“An event to coincide with the Cheadle Funfair was under development, however councillors decided to postpone this event to allow additional time for future events to be met with council approval.
“We have put a working party in place to ensure that events, and the extended criteria for these events, are more manageable. It is an extremely difficult task to co-ordinate events of this size and scope without support, and I anticipate that the working party will provide a united approach.
“I also anticipate that those councillors who have been heavily involved in making these events successful, will continue to lead the way forward.”
Councillor Kate Martin also spoke to the Times & Echo about the decision. She said: “As Chair of Recreation and Operations, it was decided to postpone the event to form a working committee to look at events that can be held in the High Street up until March next year.
“This funding is Welcome Back to the High Street funding and we want to encourage footfall to the town centre and shops.”
No new date has been set for the postponed event, but there is an idea being mooted about a Halloween event to be held in the town centre next month using part of Cheadle’s share of the Government’s Welcome Back Fund.
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