David Brayshaw column

Chairman  of Morecambe Carnival  organising committee David Brayshaw.
Chairman of Morecambe Carnival organising committee David Brayshaw.
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‘Go Morecambe’ (our local CIC) are kindly organising a Race Night to raise funds for MC15, this coming Thursday evening at The Lord Nelson.

They’ve managed to get races sponsored, horses sold, adverts sold in the programme and The Bay have kindly sponsored the evening and are sending Danny Matthews along to host the event.

It promises to be a great, fun evening and we are hoping to raise lots of money for next year’s carnival.

This has taken a lot of time and effort to arrange and we are very grateful to all those who have helped organise and have contributed financially.

Even though we are nine months away from MC15, fund raisers like this are essential for us because, although we attracted thousands of people to MC14, it is a free event, no-one pays to get in so we need to raise hard cash in order to pay for everything from rubbish bins to ‘The Loveable Rogues’.

Fundraising for next year’s carnival started straight after MC14 and will continue until we start fundraising for MC16. It’s a long, long road.

This brings me onto my ‘X Files’ moment last week when, out of the blue, I received an email detailing a government scandal.

Okay, so slight exaggeration, it detailed the Town Council’s underspend for the last four years.

Put very simply, LCC use our Council Tax to collect money for Morecambe Town Council. This year they will receive around £170,000 which they spend on staff, admin, PCSOs, allotments, dog poo and events to boost tourism.

When you consider that staff, admin and PCSOs cost us around £120,000 there’s not much left for anything else.

So, how does the council manage to underspend consistently over four years and end up with £135,000 and what’s this for? A rainy day? Don’t they know that Morecambe is facing its’ rainy day and it’s been raining for some time.

If the council are not going to use their budget to promote our town then what’s the point of them taking the money off us in the first place? I’d rather have my share in my bank than in the Town Council’s bank and I’m sure that plenty of other people would too.

When the Town Council was established, one of its purposes was to bid for grants, lottery money and other outside money to help regenerate Morecambe, so we could aspire to the success of other seaside resorts like Scarborough and St Ives.

In the four years of existence the council have applied for just one pot of money, which has to be used on Victoria Street. If this were not bad enough, they have also failed to fully utilise the small amount of money that was collected from us.

I don’t want to give you the impression that all the Town Councillors are inept, they’re not, but my involvement with Morecambe Town Council has been a revelation and they have some questions to answer, certainly before the May 2015 elections.