Stamford Town Council pulls out Riverside meeting

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STAMFORD Town Council has pulled out of a promised meeting with organisers of the Riverside Festival because of a legal dispute.

At a meeting in March the town council said it would hold informal meetings with the organisers of the annual music festival, The Riverside Association of Music and Arts.

The council postponed making a decision on whether to allow the organisers to use The Meadows in Stamford for the event in 2012 until after the elections.

But this week it emerged the council has pulled out of the meeting because of an outstanding insurance claim after taking advice.

A town council statement said: “The town council is eager to achieve a positive outcome with the Riverside Association.

“As the dispute between the town council and the Riverside Association involving a claim for damages may well lead to formal court action, if not resolved otherwise by the council’s insurers, any discussion with the other party at this point could prejudice the council’s position and affect the final outcome.”

The statement said there would no further “public discussion” about the matter because of the legal claim.

Riverside director Jenny Collins said: “Riverside have received similar instructions not to discuss this claim except through our insurers which while we understand appears frustrating it is standard practice in handling insurance claims.

“However, we have explained to the council that neither we nor our advisors can see any reason why councillors could not meet with us to discuss all the other issues which should not affect this claim.”

The promised meeting was due to take place yesterday and Jenny said she was “baffled” by the cancellation because directors and councillors had welcomed the prospect of talks “wholeheartedly”.

This year’s event was called off after a row erupted with the council, which wanted to see audited accounts. The Riverside Association of Music and Arts refused because it says it can’t use charity money to pay for it.

Jenny added: “We remain hopeful that the newly elected council in May will be more willing to meet with us for discussions and to agree a way forward.”