A RECOMMENDATION to cancel a free event for families in Thatcham has been defeated once again.
Town councillors went against their officer’s advice and decided to redouble their efforts in order to hold the popular event in the future.
Fun on the Broadway came about in 2010 as a way of attracting people in to the town centre during a period of over-running roadworks.
But, as the town council’s community and civic manager, Jennie Currie explained in a report recently, this aim was not being met.
This year’s free, five-hour event in September attracted around 400 people with only seven businesses coming forward to be part of the event; the same number as last year.
The report said: “The event continues to be popular with visitors, although the aim of the event is to engage and support local businesses and currently it does not appear to be meeting that aim.
“While I am pleased that this event continues to be well received, I cannot see how it can continue to be run by council officers, members and volunteers.”
Miss Currie recommended that the event should not be held next year and that engagement with local businesses and providing activities that required less staffing be explored.
Discussing the future of the event at a meeting last week, town mayor Ellen Crumly (Con, Thatcham Central) said: “I think we had such good support from local businesses.
“My suggestion is we try to find a sponsor.”
Nathan Gregory (Con, Thatcham South and Crookham) added: “I think it’s a shame to lose it... Maybe more councillors could have it on their shoulders? I was there for four hours blowing up balloons and I’m not complaining.”
Deputy leader Richard Crumly (Con, Thatcham Central) agreed. He said: “I think it would be a great pity if it was to be lost. Let’s all help. I’m not saying move heaven and earth, but I’m sure with a bit more effort it can be a success again.”
Sensing the mood of the town council leader Jason Collis (Con, Thatcham North) said: “I think the suggestion is we don’t accept the recommendation.
“We ask our officers to do a lot. We will have to look at our commitments and work with officers.”