Fete left out in the rain

A CHARITY group, which raises thousands of pounds each year for Clevedon Hospital, has been told it cannot hold its annual fete

A CHARITY group, which raises thousands of pounds each year for Clevedon Hospital, has been told it cannot hold its annual fete at the council house if it rains - incase it ruins the carpets.The League of Friends at Clevedon Cottage Hospital wrote to Clevedon Town Council asking if it could use the council house at Old Street as an alternative venue for its summer fete in September if the weather turned wet.But councillors have refused the request, saying they were concerned that on a wet day the carpets in the council house would be damaged.The charity group will now be forced to find an alternative wet weather venue for the event or look at possibly cancelling the fete if it rains.Clevedon Hospital League of Friends fete co-ordinator Di Brown said: "We are not going to cancel the fete and are praying for good weather."We are currently considering other options available to us."However, rain or shine we want the people of Clevedon to come and join the fun at the fete."The council house, which is carpeted throughout, was opened four years ago at a cost of nearly £400,000.The cost of refurbishing the building, a former infant school, was funded entirely by Clevedon Town Council.The building is currently let out to a number of organisations including art clubs, meetings and for the council's annual civic service.Clevedon councillor Carl Francis-Pester said he was initially unhappy four years ago when councillors agreed to spend £400,000 on the building.Cllr Francis-Pester said: "This latest request further demonstrates how limited the building is for widespread community use."Council chairman David Shopland defended the decision to say no to the hospital fund-raisers, claiming the council HQ needed to be kept in a good state of repair.Clevedon Town Council chairman Councillor David Shopland said: "I do not think to hold a fete on a wet day is the right use for the council house."If we get hundreds of people coming through with wet feet, it will ruin the carpets. The council has to retain the building in good order to keep down its maintenance costs."There are other places in the town such as the community centre, the YMCA or the village hall which would be more suitable to hold this type of event."* What do you think? Is the council right trying to keep the building spick and span or should the people of Clevedon, who paid for the refurbishment on their council tax bills, be able to use the building as and when they like? Write to us at Mailbox, North Somerset Times, 32 Waterloo Street, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1LW.

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