You may have seen that at last Thursday’s Town Council meeting, the proposal to change the way Morecambe festivals are funded was thrown out.
If this proposal had been accepted it could have been the end of many festivals on Morecambe Promenade, which would in turn have seen a decline in visitor numbers and money coming into the town.
It was great to see so many people packed into the public gallery and I’m convinced that this swayed some ‘undecided’ councillors to support the public’s views.
Although I came out of the meeting elated at the decision, I was also disappointed at the comments from some of the Morecambe Bay Independent councillors who had supported their proposal.
Councillor Dennison suggested that event organisers had spread disinformation about their plans and that they actually made money personally from festivals.
That was met with astonishment.
It’s quite the opposite, councillor, and I should know.
Councillor Heath compared the funding application process to ‘a bun fight’.
But the people in Morecambe are prepared to work, for free, putting on events to entertain locals and attract visitors.
As I was driving home it suddenly dawned on me that this evening could have turned out so differently.
The proposal had first been suggested at a festival sub-committee meeting (where I just happened to have taken Carla for a bit of light entertainment.)
This committee carefully moulded and shaped the idea and then passed it to the finance committee for a bit more love and attention.
Being somewhat alarmed at this idea, Carla and I attended the finance meeting and, lo and behold, it’s the same three MBI councillors that sit on both committees.
What is the point of that?
Councillor Heath said at Thursday’s meeting that councillors are tired of being ‘slagged off’ in the press over festival funding.
Well, if a forum for discussion had been established three years ago, as it has been now, maybe the slagging off wouldn’t have occurred.
Members of a festival committee who don’t go to festivals and don’t talk to festival organisers are never going to understand how successful, or not, festivals actually are.
We aren’t daft and neither are the people of Morecambe.
But onwards and upwards.
We have much to do, planning for the next four years of Morecambe festivals.