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Decision made ‘behind closed doors’

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1 month, 9 days agoNo Comments.
30 JUN

Decision made ‘behind closed doors’

By timesecholife on in All News, Leek news

A town council has given a town crier £100 towards the cost of an event he put on for HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – but the decision whether to make the donation was made behind closed doors. The Leek & Moorlands Echo challenged Leek Town Council when they moved the agenda item about a donation request from Leek Town Crier Bill Lomas at their meeting last Tuesday (June 21) to confidential – part way through the meeting.

A town council has given a town crier £100 towards the cost of an event he put on for HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – but the decision whether to make the donation was made behind closed doors.

The Leek & Moorlands Echo challenged Leek Town Council when they moved the agenda item about a donation request from Leek Town Crier Bill Lomas at their meeting last Tuesday (June 21) to confidential – part way through the meeting.

Our reporter, with the backing of another newspaper reporter present, challenged the confidential move due to the matter being of “public interest.”

The challenge was heard by councillors but the agenda item was still moved to being discussed by councillors in the confidential section of the meeting.

Mr Lomas had applied for £200 towards the cost of the special ‘cry’ event he put on in Sparrow Park on Thursday, June 2 as part of the nation’s Jubilee celebrations.

Earlier in the meeting, Leek Town councillors had, in the public section of the meeting, voted on paying substantial donations to a number of organisations in town.

In a press release sent out by Leek Town Council on Wednesday (June 22), a spokesman for the council said: “Leek Town Council recently applied to SMDC (Staffordshire Moorlands District Council) for a grant of £1,000 to use to fund community events in the Queens Platinum Jubilee Year.

At the May meeting of the town council it was resolved that the council would split the grant into ten and cap the applications at £100 per application.

At the May meeting The Osbourne Street Residents Association were granted £100 from the fund for their street party at the Blue Mugge, this was then match funded by the Town Council’s Events Fund for a Community Group application.”

The spokesman continued: “Also at the May meeting The Phoenix Singers were granted £100 from the fund for their Jubilee Concert to support with venue hire. They also received an additional £100 match funding for a Community Group application.

Last night at the June meeting of Leek Town Council it was unanimously agreed that Mr Bill Lomas, Town Crier should receive £100 grant from the Platinum Jubilee fund.”

The Leek & Moorlands Echo contacted Mr Lomas asking for a comment about the donation he has received from Leek Town Council. We also asked him what expenses he had incurred in putting on the Jubilee event.

He said: “I would like to say thank you for the funds to help me to pay my expenses on the parade that I organised on the Queen’s Platinum celebration on June 2.

This was paid out of the SMDC fund for this purpose.”

When quizzed further about what the expenses had been at the event, Mr Lomas said: “My expenses were in excess of the payment from Leek Town Council but I’m happy with that as I always pay my own expenses, but on this occasion, the town council offered me a payment towards this event.”

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