Town council criticised by riders
Tensions between Berwick Town Council and the organisers of the Riding of the Bounds have surfaced.
Berwick Riders Association has expressed disappointment after learning that the town council has been unable to organise a stage for entertainment at this year’s event.
Jude Eltringham, association chairman, said: “We are a voluntary group and we approached the council two years ago to assist us with funding essential items for this ride, mainly toilets, insurance, medical provision and street cleaning.
“We met last year and requested other things, one of them being a stage so that local community groups could entertain during the ride.
“We want it to be an event that the whole community gets involved in.”
She stressed that it was the riders association, not the town council, which organises the event. However, she said the temporary event notice submitted by the town council on its behalf was not accurate because they had not been consulted.
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Town clerk Gareth Davies explained that the stage was not within its budget compass.
“We did explore the possibility of getting Alnwick Town Council’s stage but the costs of transporting it and erecting it are prohibitive,” he said.
He said the organisers sent a suggestion of the stage that could be used but it was not suitable for external use and would have cost around £1,000, again beyond the budget He had explored hiring options but these were too expensive.
He added: “The tensions between the riders association and town council are something that I’ve tried to reduce over the last two years but clearly I have not but it’s not something I’m going to give up on.”
The preparations will be discussed again on March 26.