Town Council to ask for return of public funds

Epworth Town Council is to ask for a significant cash sum to be returned by the Town Centre Partnership, that was intended as insurance cover.

Two years ago the council gave the Town Centre Partnership £600 that was intended to cover the cost of insurance on three proposed events, but the planned events never took place.

Town Council vice-chairman Jonathan Whitaker said: “The way I see it is that there have been no events, and at the moment there don’t seem to be any planned.

That £600 is public money which we are responsible for.

“I don’t think it has been spent, and it would be prudent to ask for it back to give to another organisation.”

He went on to say that there was no reason why the Partnership should not re-apply for help in the event that plans were developed further.

“The money shouldn’t just be sitting in the bank,” he added.

Coun Mrs Ros Whitaker took a softer line on the issue and urged councillors just to remind the Town Centre Partnership of the grant, and then to give it six months to start planning an event for which the money could be used in the future.

However, her proposition was defeated.

Council Clerk Caroline Maguire has now been instructed to get the £600 back into Town Council hands.

Coun Graham Wilson, who is part of the Town Centre Partnership, left the meeting while the matter was still being discussed, but before doing so he said the Partnership was still very much alive, having been set up to support businesses in the area.

He addressed the meeting, saying: “Just because we don’t seem to be active does not mean we are not.”