Councillors have agreed to refund all traders due to take part in the cancelled Stamford Christmas Festival as a “gesture of goodwill”.
Stamford Town Council held a special meeting last night (Tuesday, December 16) to discuss the issue, following a number of complaints from traders who had paid to have a stall at the event.
The festival, which was due to take place on November 29, was cancelled because of predicted bad weather.
Chairman of the council’s events committee Maxine Couch read from the minutes of a meeting last Monday (December 7), when councillors decided to offer a full refund, “purely as a goodwill gesture and without prejudice.”
The council had previously refused to give any details of what was discussed at that meeting, arguing that any decision needed to be ratified by the full council before it could be made public.
But after a short discussion last night, councillors voted in favour of the refund proposal.
They also agreed that any cost to the council as a result of the cancellation would be covered from the emergency contingency budget.
Coun Max Sawyer queried whether that cost included fees payable to South Kesteven District Council, St John Ambulance and health and safety officials. Town clerk Patricia Stuart-Mogg explained that the district council had refunded the majority of the money it had been paid, while the other two organisations had not charged the full amount.
The total cost to the council will be about £4,000.
Speaking after the decision was made, Coun John Dawson pointed out that other events such as the Burghley Horse Trials, where he regularly trades, would give no refund in the event of cancellation. He said: “I think what the events committee has done has been extremely generous.”