Awarding no funding to Crawley Festival ‘mean-spirited’

Crawley Festival's 'Mainstage' event from last year
Crawley Festival's 'Mainstage' event from last year

A ‘mean-spirited’ decision by county councillors not to award funding to Crawley Festival has been criticised.

An application for £2,666.70 of Community Initiative Funding (CIF) was submitted to the East Crawley County Local Committee (CLC) to help fund the Mainstage event which forms the finale of the summer festival.

While the committee has funded the event in the past, this year it decided to refuse the request for funding as it did not meet the CIF criteria.

However the West Crawley CLC, which met last night (Monday March 13), agreed to a similar CIF application for £3,330.

Chris Oxlade (Lab Bewbush and Ifield West), chair of the West Crawley CLC, said: “To award them nothing seems to be very mean-spirited.”

Brenda Smith (Lab, Langley Green and West Green) added: “We are going to make ours because we believe it’s a good event and something valued by the people of Crawley.”

Earlier this month Richard Burrett (Con, Pound Hill and Worth), chair of the East Crawley CLC, said: “What was being asked for and has been funded in the past does really amount to revenue funding, in terms of payment for artists and stages.

“Given we have four other applicants that fit the criteria, we didn’t feel we could grant anything to the Crawley Festival this year because it doesn’t fit the criteria of Community Initiative Funding.”

Festival committee member Bob Burgess said of the decision: “It might mean that unless we can find alternative funding that Mainstage might be in jeopardy, but I don’t know.”

Each CLC is given a set amount of CIF money to award to community groups and charities every year for local projects.

The West Crawley CLC also awarded money to five other organisations.

The 2nd Ifield Scout Group was given £1,000 towards four kayaks, Cruse West Sussex is set to receive £550 to help provide one-to-one support for the bereaved, while Rainbow Pre-School in Barrington Road has been awarded £2,990 towards new equipment, toys, and other resources.

Meanwhile the 7th Crawley Scout Group will be given £3,000 to help reinstate its headquarters’ garden area and provide wheelchair access.

Haywards Heath-based IMPACT Tasty Team, which regularly visits Crawley to help young people and adults learn to cook healthily, was awarded £2,778.00 by county councillors.

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