A town council has made a u-turn on awarding an annual grant to a volunteer committee after a community event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Cheadle Town Council had set to, alike to past years, donate £5,000 to the Cheadle Carnival Committee to help offset the costs of putting on the community extravaganza.
A town council has made a u-turn on awarding an annual grant to a volunteer committee after a community event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Cheadle Town Council had set to, alike to past years, donate £5,000 to the Cheadle Carnival Committee to help offset the costs of putting on the community extravaganza.
This year’s event had set to take place over the weekend of July 4 and 5. However, alike to all such community events across the nation, the popular extravaganza was cancelled due to the current coronavirus pandemic.
The carnival committee has recently written to Cheadle Town Council to “chase up the funding allocated for this year’s carnival.”
In their correspondence to the council, dated June 30, a committee member stated: “We appreciate the carnival had to be cancelled due to Covid-19 but the committee of local volunteers incurred costs for rebooking acts/deposits lost and licencing the event.
“Our concern is the knock-on effect to fundraising which we had planned, which were two music nights at the Guildhall and our Soapbox Derby.
“We really hope restrictions are lifted and we are able to do the two weeks of Santa Sleigh which is our largest income.
“As you are aware the carnival plans to grow year on year, we still need support from the town council to keep this great community event going.”
In June, we reported that a Cheadle Carnival member had told us at the Times & Echo that it was a “shame the event had to be cancelled” and that: “Luckily we have not lost any money and all the acts are happy to be a part of next year’s event instead.”
This quote was brought up at the Cheadle Town Council earlier this month, where the request for the allocated funding was debated by councillors.
Council members were told that a council officer had requested the accounts from the carnival committee and that he had been told that: “They are the same as the end of the year and that there has been no more expenditure.”
Some councillors raised concern that they had asked for the carnival accounts prior to the meeting so that they could have a look at them before deciding on whether to carry on with awarding the grant, but no accounts were made available to members.
A further debate then took place with some councillors saying that the “town council should support the carnival committee.”
Other councillors said that the money should not be awarded due to the event not taking place and because “they have got a lot of money in their account.”
It was also muted that the correspondence which the council had received regarding chasing the funding was contradictory to what was stated in our June article.
The decision on whether to award the funds to the Cheadle Carnival Committee then went to a vote with the majority voting against.
The Times & Echo has contacted the Cheadle Carnival committee about the town council withdrawing this year’s grant but we were told that they “did not want to comment.”
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