Threat to charities if Stevenage fun day is axed

A FAMILY fun day which has been held annually in a town for the past 50 years is under threat, putting charities in danger of folding, the organiser has claimed. John Wells, organiser of Stevenage Day, has told The Comet that the biggest event in the town

A FAMILY fun day which has been held annually in a town for the past 50 years is under threat, putting charities in danger of folding, the organiser has claimed.

John Wells, organiser of Stevenage Day, has told The Comet that the biggest event in the town's social calendar is set to be scrapped because the committee is insolvent.

"Stevenage Borough Council has given us a bill for �4,000, and it's a bill we can't pay," he explained. He said the money owed is for services including the marking out of pitches for stalls on King George V Playing Fields, and the provision of staff on Stevenage Day. Mr Wells said: "I think the council should do it for free. They could do more to support us."

The annual event offers top attractions, stalls, games, rides and competitions. It also provides an opportunity for charities to promote themselves.


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Mr Wells said: "Stevenage Day has been going for 50 years, and if it folded it would affect 70 charities. Some of them will fold because it's the one day they actually make money, and put their cause over. They rely on us."

He said this year's Stevenage Day had been one of the most successful to date, with an increase in the number of stalls and a rise in the amount of money taken.

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Cllr John Lloyd, chairman of the Stevenage Day committee, said: "The position is that we are insolvent and we will be having a meeting on the 16th December and a decision [about the future of Stevenage Day] will be made by members." Asked if it is possible the event will be ditched, he said: "You can never tell. It's very difficult to operate if we are insolvent."

He added: "Nobody wants to see Stevenage Day finish. It's an absolutely fabulous day out for everybody."

A spokesman for SBC said: "Every year the Stevenage Day committee requests work from the council with regard to the preparation and clean up of Stevenage Day. The council provides a quote, which is then agreed by the organising committee and the work is then carried out and an invoice issued in accordance with the council's financial regulations.

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