Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Tribute events to singer George raise £10,000 for two charities

FANS of George Michael raised more than £10,000 for charity at two commemorative events in Goring.

Thousands of people descended on the village on the weekend of June 23 and 24 to mark what would have been the late singer’s 55th birthday on the Monday immediately afterwards.

Many attended a party on Rectory Garden, off High Street, on the Sunday which included live music, a DJ and market stalls selling memorabilia.

The event, organised by fan Terry Daniels, of Milton Keynes, raised £9,322 for ChildLine.

This was on top of the £1,000 raised by the Catherine Wheel pub in Station Road at its Spinning The Wheel music festival, which took place on both days. Proceeds went to HIV charity the Terrence Higgins Trust. The figures were announced at a meeting of the parish council by Councillor Catherine Hall.

However, she said three people complained about the event on Rectory Garden, which the parish council owns.

One said visitors had parked on verges in Manor Road but this was solved by putting up cones.

Another said it deterred people from visiting the Catherine Wheel, which has staged a summer party since 2014, and the council should have warned the landlords about the clash.

The authority says this is outside its remit but people can raise concerns at meetings.

A third said the music was too loud so the council has asked organisers for noise readings from throughout the day and might add new rules on music in its hiring policy. The council itself complained about small items of rubbish like cigarette ends not being picked up so the organisers offered to pay for a “deep clean” of the site.

Councillor Hall said Goring’s businesses had seen a “significant” increase in footfall and spending since Michael’s death on Christmas Day in 2016 and “expressed support of such events to encourage visitors and keep the village vibrant.”

She added: “We agreed that use of the Rectory Garden should be encouraged and we should be pleased that the activities provided a great deal of pleasure to many people, who appeared mostly happy and genial and gave no concern over behaviour.

“We can discuss in future what actions, if any, to take for future hirers of locations we control.”

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