Budleigh's mayor defends festival handout

BUDLEIGH Salterton's mayor has defended the council's decision to grant the town s festival �1,000 after the president of the football club said the donation was an injustice .

BUDLEIGH Salterton's mayor has defended the council's decision to grant the town's festival �1,000 after the president of the football club said the donation was an 'injustice'.

Peter Curtis said smaller clubs within the town were in dire need of financial help - and questioned if the grant would be repaid if the music and art festival made a profit.

Football club president Mr Curtis said: "I believe that this is an injustice to the many voluntary clubs and organisations in the town. "At this time every one is finding it financially hard to cope, small grants could have been offered to them to help them through this time."

Budleigh's mayor, councillor Courtney Richards, said the football club had this financial year received �200 from the town's coffers.


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He said the decision to back the music festival, and also the literary festival, was taken partly on the effect the events have on the town.

Cllr Richards said: "Both these events bring much needed visitors and trade to the town and with the current financial climate the town council saw that as an important factor in deciding whether or not to support these events.

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"No doubt, as the year progresses, other organisations will approach the council for help - as has been the case for many years.

"Therefore I do not recognise the 'injustice to the many voluntary clubs and organisations in the town' to which Mr Curtis refers.

"Earlier in this financial year Budleigh Salterton Town Council gave �200 to help set up the Budleigh Salterton junior football club.

"Each year the council sets aside a sum of money for such grants and it is up to organisations to approach us if they wish to apply. "Each application is then considered on its merits."

Cllr Richards said in the past year the council had financially supported the Community Transport Group ring-and-ride bus, Victim Support, the Budleigh Lions, Shandford and the Royal British Legion.

He said the drama club, the Voluntary Car Service, Knowle Village Hall and the Citizens Advice Bureau had all benefitted in previous years.

Cllr Richards said the council had agreed cash support to the literary festival and music festival in the coming year.

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