Council taking no further action over event concerns

Berwick Town Council has denied any wrong-doing over an event held for veterans on Remembrance Sunday.

Monday, 28th January 2019, 8:58 am
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It follows an email to the council questioning whether the event at St Cuthbert’s Parish Centre was properly licensed, with a suggestion made that guests had been charged.

The council had funded the event, attended by 120 people, providing funding for food, drinks and entertainment.

In total, councillors were told that £439 was spent on food, drink and hall hire and £214 received in donations. This was passed to officers and will be given to charity.

The issue was discussed by members of the budget and administration committee last week, with several members of public who attended the event also in attendance.

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Coun Karin Graham said: “The email that was sent is totally untrue.

Dorothy Whitehead told members: “I never saw any money change hands. There was a donation box because people were keen to give something.”

Kevin Ryan added: “I was working on the bar serving alcohol but not once did any of us serve alcohol at a price.”

Deputy mayor Anne Forbes concurred: “I was there helping out and at no time was anyone charged for anything.”

She felt the matter should not have gone before the committee but town clerk Gareth Davies said he did not want to be accused of a cover-up.

“This a better forum for evidence to be collected than my office,” he said. “As officers, we are always keen to strike a balance between allowing events to be self-managing and the need to avoid harm to the council’s reputation.”

Councillors were told that many people wanted to support Help Homeless Heroes.

Members decided there was no substance to the issues raised and that there would be no further action.