Southwold Christmas lights night on course but just 94p in the pot
10:44 19 October 2012
Archant © 2011
PLANS to part-fund Southwold’s Christmas lights using money from last year’s switch-on event have been dashed after it emerged there was only 94p left in the pot.
Southwold town councillor Katie Flodin had called on members of the 2011 lights committee to reveal how much money they had left to help fund Switch-on Southwold 2012.
But its former treasurer Andrew Macalpine said this week that he had already presented audited accounts to town councillors who should have been aware that there was very little left over.
In a letter sent to Southwold Town Council and The Journal, Mr Macalpine said members of the Switch-on Southwold committee had “made strenuous” efforts to forge closer ties with the town council.
As a result of this, he said, Mrs Flodin was appointed as the council’s main contact with the switch-on committee and attended a number of meetings where the event’s finances were discussed.
Mr Macalpine said: “Along with the then mayor of Southwold, John Windell, councillor Flodin attended our annual meeting on February 9 this year. I presented audited accounts and both councillors were given copies.
“I explained that the projected final balance would be nil once remaining sponsorship had come in and bills had been paid. This proved to be the case.”
He added: “I explained the situation to the mayor of Southwold, Michael Ladd, in July this year when we discussed what should be done with the account. We agreed that the accounts should be kept open in case it could be used by a new group. Meanwhile, there is 94p left which, of course, I shall be pleased to hand over to councillor Flodin so that she can put the matter to rest.”
In response, Mrs Flodin accepted that there was only 94p left in the account and praised the efforts of last year’s Christmas lights event.
She said the new committee was on track to deliver a Christmas lights event for the town, albeit on a much smaller scale than previous years.
The town council has agreed to increase its usual funding for the event from £700 to £2,000 and Adnams has made a £10,000 donation. Mrs Flodin said: “We are going to have enough money for this year’s event. Adnams have been more than generous and we are all working as hard as we can.”
A row erupted in March when the committee behind last year’s Switch-on Southwold was criticised by some town councillors for organising an event that was too big and ambitious.
The organisers hit back, saying the event had been a huge success, and decided to dissolve the committee, abandoning their plans for December 2012.