Council seeks to recover community event costs

Berwick Town Council has voiced concern at Northumberland County Council plans to stop subsidising the services it provides at community events.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 24 December, 2018, 08:44
Berwick Riding of the Bounds 2018 Picture by Jane Coltman

Letters have been sent out to event organisers to inform them that from April 1, 2019, the council will seek to recover the cost it incurs from the provision of support services, such as traffic management, litter-picking and refuse collection.

The cost-cutting proposals, which would save around £50,000 a year, would not apply to Remembrance and Armed Forces parades.

It adds that the decision ‘has not been taken lightly and we hope this will not have an adverse effect on your ability to continue with events and you will be able to fund these costs from alternative sources of funding or sponsorship’.

Coun Karin Graham, of Berwick Town Council, said: “We are putting in a tremendous amount of our money into the pot. We will remember this when it comes to paying wages like we did for parks and green spaces.”

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It was agreed that town clerk Gareth Davies would put forward the town council’s view that the proposal should not apply in Berwick given the local services funding it already provides.

Coun Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for local services, said: “As we need to find £27million of cuts over the next three years, we have to look at every service we provide and, like other councils, we feel that we can no longer subsidise traffic management and other services for events.

“By proposing these charges, we are simply passing on what it costs the council.”

Feedback on the proposals can be emailed to budget@northumberland.gov.uk by Monday, January 7, 2019.