Regatta boss awash with funding fears
PUBLISHED: 14:02 13 August 2008 | UPDATED: 10:01 23 August 2010
REGATTA bosses fear cuts in funding by the council will place two of the annual events under financial pressure. Gravesham Borough Council has cut grants to voluntary and charitable organisations, including the New Shrimpers Regatta due to be held at the
REGATTA bosses fear cuts in funding by the council will place two of the annual events under financial pressure.
Gravesham Borough Council has cut grants to voluntary and charitable organisations, including the New Shrimpers Regatta due to be held at the weekend.
Ian Stevenson, chairman of the Regatta Committee, said their reserve funds had already been strained after funding this year's summer event.
He said: "We had to find the funding ourselves for the Summer Regatta, this ended up costing us a few thousand more than usual.
"Our committee does not fund the Shrimpers Regatta but we understand they are in the same position this weekend.
"Where in the past the council will provide funding in kind essentials like security, and waste collection we now have to foot the bill.
"It places a lot of financial stress on us, we have a reserve but with these additional costs needed to be met and repairs, like a set of skulls we must replace costing £1,500 you can see the money starts to vanish.
"This year residents, supporters and local businesses were fantastic by donating money and arranging services. In the future we will have to rely on their generosity to keep these historical events alive."
The Big Day Out Plus, an event that attracted 20,000 people and was supported by the Gravesend Reporter in July, was not affected and the Town Regatta was funded by the council costing about £10,000.
This week Ray Parker, Labour county councillor for Northfleet and Gravesend West said it was 'a sad day for Gravesham and its residents' as he urged the council to reconsider funding events in the future.
He said: "I am very disappointed that Gravesham's Regattas will suffer because of GBC's decision to slash their funding.
"I hope that Gravesham Council will consider funding events and orgainsations that have had their grants removed. In terms of the Regattas we call ourselves 'Historical Riverside Town' parts of that history are the regattas; their loss would be a sad demise for more of Gravesham's history."
Gravesham leader Mike Snelling responded: "At present the Council's Grants to various organisations total £340,550 and I am aware - and proud of the fact - that all of them are invaluable to the Borough and its residents.
"When the decision on such Grants was made by Cabinet in April, it was agreed that funding would be put in place for three years to allow the organisations time to plan their funding for the future.
"You will understand that, given the difficult financial situation, we cannot increase any amounts, but we will continue to work with our external organisations to help them become self-sufficient."
This weekend the new Shrimpers Regatta is expected to take place from 10am to 6pm at Gordon Promenade.