Monday, 16 May 2022

Festival’s bid for council grant turned down again

Festival’s bid for council grant turned down again

ORGANISERS of the Goring GAP Festival have had a second request for funding turned down by the parish council.

Councillors voted to reject an application for £15,000 to go towards the festival’s jubilee day celebrations on Sunday, June 5.

Last month, the council refused a request for £4,000, saying it had suspended its grant policy so could not give out any.

Instead, it suggested the council could sponsor a specific event during the festival.

Ginny Avery, artistic director of the festival, had written to the council asking for funding for the event on Sheepcot Field as part of the national celebrations to mark the Queen’s platinum jubilee.

She asked for money for either just the morning event in the “jubilee arena”, which would cost £4,000 to £5,000, or for the whole day, including the afternoon street party, which would cost £15,000. This will include marquees, tables and equipment costing £8,000, a PA system and radios (£3,000), portable toilets (£2,000), bridge safety cladding and decorations (£1,000) and litter bins and disposal (£1,000).

In a letter to the council, Ms Avery said: “As the jubilee day will be the most significant day in the whole festival period in many respects, this presents a high-profile opportunity for the council to be seen as the main sponsor.

“It is a stand-alone event and therefore all the banners, notifications/literature and separate programme can carry ‘sponsored by Goring-on-Thames Parish Council’.

“Should you, however, prefer to sponsor another event in the overall programme, there are some marquee events currently not sponsored by other organisations but we believe supporting the big national day of the decade is the prime event.

“We trust the council will look favourably on this opportunity to support the residents and help create memories of a lifetime for the children, as all previous jubilee events have done.”

The council said the request was effectively a grant application as it had not been involved in organising the event, which it wanted to be rather than simply give money to an event which had already been arranged.

Councillor Bryan Urbick suggested a small group of councillors and members of the festival committee met to decide a way forward on sponsorship.

The council had also received a request from the pageant master of the jubilee celebrations to light a beacon during the jubilee long weekend from Thursday to Sunday, June 2 to 5. Ron Bridle, a trustee of the festival, said the village already had a beacon that it shared with neighbouring Streatley which would be lit on Goring church tower on the Thursday.

The council also decided to purchase new Union flags for the flagpole in Rectory Gardens as the current flag is worn.

The council agreed an £800 budget for two flags, a more robust one for day-to-day use and a more “fancy” flag for use on special occasions such as the jubilee.

Meanwhile, the council is to obtain quotes for the planting of a jubilee garden near the entrance to Sheepcot Field.

Council chairman Kevin Bulmer said the idea was to stop people parking at the entrance and damaging the grass.

Councillors suggested that a “jubilee tree”, which has been proposed for planting in Rectory Gardens, could be planted here instead.

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