Carnival looking to town for help

By Mark Pritchett in Local People

WELLINGTON Carnival in September could be the last, warns its chairman Dave Rylatt.

The carnival itself runs at a loss each year but is kept afloat by the carnival committee which raises cash through other events, including the town’s street fair.

“If it was a business we would have closed it down three years ago,” said Mr Rylatt. “It’s only the carnival committee which keeps it going.”

The committee is hoping to receive a grant of £2,500 from Wellington Town Council, which will be meeting Mr Rylatt this coming Monday to discuss the matter, having deferred a decision at its last monthly meeting.

In asking for a grant the committee explained to the council that: “With increasing costs and a fall in donations the amount left to distribute to charities is declining to the point where carnival will no longer be a viable proposition.”

Some councillors at last week’s meeting had concerns that awarding the grant would be an indirect grant to charities and would not go towards the running costs of the carnival. They voted to defer the decision of the grant until information had been obtained about what the money would be used for.

Mr Rylatt added that without the grant the carnival would be in ‘jeopardy’, although not this year’s event.

He said: “This is the first time we have been to the council for a grant in three years. The last grant was in 2013 of £1,300 which was given to meet the costs of providing barriers and signs.

“The other disappointing thing these days is there are no carnival clubs in Wellington. Some of the carnival clubs in Bridgwater spend £50,000 on their floats.

“The street collection on the night is down every year and nowhere near covers the cost of staging the carnival which is about £7,000. Last September the collection dipped under £3,000.

“The simple truth is we need more support if we are going to survive.”

This year’s carnival in Wellington is scheduled to take place on Saturday, September 30.

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