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Councillor questions organised 'jolly'

Cllr Richard White is 'not happy' after discovering the town council spends nearly £6,000 on the recently held Celebration of Newtown event.

3 weeks ago   2 minutes read   2,234 views

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Photo: Cllr R White (Photo: Newtown & Llanllwchaiarn Town Council)

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By Richard Williams
Editor & Managing Director


Cllr Richard White is 'not happy' after discovering the town council spends nearly £6,000 on the recently held Celebration of Newtown event.

The last meeting of Newtown & Llanllwchaiarn Town Council saw a discussion on the value for money of the recently held Celebration of Newtown event.

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The discussion, which was initiated by Cllr Richard White aimed to gather councillors thoughts on the recent event.

Starting off the debate, Cllr White remarked that "I'm not terribly happy about spending £6000 on what amounts to a jolly".

The event was strongly defended by former Mayor and Chair of the Council's Economy & Environment Commitee, Cllr Richard Edwards who explained to councillors that the event is to celebrate volunteering in the town. He said, "I feel strongly about this and I think once a year to come together and spending, in my mind, a reasonable sun, but clearly costed event, has a benefit to the community which far outweighs the budget attached to it."

Cllr Jack Griffin-Lewis also gave his thoughts on the event. He indicated that he would support moving the entire event into the Town Hall Grounds to bring more public visibility to the occasion.

Cllr Tracy Owen defended the event, explaining that the vast majority of expenditure was spent on NPTC, which in turn provides educational opportunities for students in catering and hospitality sector. She said:

"I think it is a lovely way to say thank you to all volunteers"

"A lot of the people who do come to that event are the volunteers themselves so they are being treated as a thank you"

"I would argue it's not really a jolly - I suppose what you could argue is maybe councillors shouldn't go then, because what have we done to deserve to go to that event - if you wanted to cut costs."

After councillors had given their thoughts, Cllr White stated:

"I don't detect a great enthusiasm around the table for doing away with the event and if it's council's wishes that it continues so be it, but I'm not terribly happy about it."

"I don't think we need necessarily to spend £6000 to celebrate volunteers because I'm quite certain, none of the volunteers, volunteer because I think they get invited to a bloody right dinner once a year."

According to budget documents, the town council spent £5,896.32 for the last Celebration of Newtown event.

This budget covered expenses such as venue hire, meals for attendees, photography services, trophies, awards, and other items necessary for the event.

The comments will be referred to the Economy & Environment Committee, who organises the event.

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