A LAST-ditch attempt for funds to finance two bands at next year’s MADhurst carnival procession reaped rewards.
The Rev David Coote, who organises the procession on behalf of Midhurst Town Council, asked councillors for an 11th-hour reconsideration of their decision to put £1,000 in their budget for the event – half the amount he asked for.
“I want to do something which Midhurst may be proud of,” he told councillors at their full meeting before Christmas.
He said the carnival procession finale was the responsibility of the town council to fund, not the MADhurst committee.
He would welcome, he said, musicians from Midhurst Rother College taking part, but that did solve the problem of funding the two bands he wanted to book to add extra weight.
Chairman of the finance committee Steve Morley told him it was a finely-balanced year for the town council as it carried out the refurbishment of its new home in the old library.
“With everything so tight, the school could be the key to providing a band.”
Carol Lintott said the town council became involved in the procession because it had insurance cover for events on the main roads: “We need to have some perspective here. It is still MADhurst which has the overall responsibility and we do have the Christmas street party which lasts the whole evening.”
But Margaret Guest said she saw the procession as the other main town event.
“My perspective is we have found the money in terms of refurbishment of the old library and that’s great. But I don’t think it should be at the cost of pulling back on something for the community.
“This is our contribution to MADhurst and I think we should find the money from somewhere in the budget.”
Councillors agreed to find a further £500 for the bands, making a total of £1,500 budgeted for the procession.
The town council precept looks set to rise by some 14 per cent for the average tax payer – about £8 more on Band D council tax bills.