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Charity furious as council cuts Party on Parade funds

Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research fundraising group organises the event

Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research fundraising group organises the event

Organisers of the hugely popular Party on the Parade have warned Berwick Town Council that the event might not go ahead next spring if their funding is cut.

The council wants to withdraw its direct funding for the event and instead provide indirect support to cover its cost if it hit by bad weather, possibly through meeting the cost of appropriate insurance.

But the Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research (LLR) fundraising group, which organises the event with Berwick Rotary Club, has been ‘hurt, upset and disgusted’ by the suggestion.

It has found the proposal particularly galling because the council asked the rotary club, which in turn asked LLR to help out, to stage the Party on the Parade as part of its attempts to revive the May Fair.

Helen Tait from LLR, speaking at a full council meeting, said: “It is inconceivable that after asking us to stage this event, that you would withdraw the funding from one of the best community events to happen in Berwick for a long time.

“We brought visitors to the town, benefiting local businesses, and gave the town a feelgood factor.”

The council gave £2,500 towards this year’s event, itself a successor to the Queen’s diamond jubilee event of 2012.

“Both years were a fantastic community effort with about 70-80 volunteers and all giving up time to raise money for LLR primarily but secondly to give the town a brilliant day,” said Mrs Tait.

“Last year on a fantastically sunny day, and with your financial backing, we actually made £4,576 between us – £2,288 each.

“We could have used our valuable time and effort to make much more money with far less effort, for example from a bag pack or quiz.

“We feel we have given excellent value for money and kept costs as low as possible through donations and careful planning and budgeting.

“We were willing to do all of this again but primarily we are charities who raise money and support good causes. It is the fact we are charities that creates the wonderful atmosphere on the day. We must have scope to raise money for our charities or it is pointless us organising the event.

“It would be tragic if the town was to lose this event, so please reconsider your decision. We actually wanted to make the event bigger, bringing stalls in.”

Councillor Ivor Dixon, chairman of the council’s events committee, invited LLR to the next meeting on January 27 when the matter would be discussed again.

 

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