Charity will miss out after ban

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A Woodhall Spa man claims a national charity will miss out on vital funding - because his parish council won’t allow him to put up a banner promoting his events.

Clive Botterill organises a series of Antiques and Collectables Fairs in Woodhall Spa.

He makes a donation from the fairs to Help for Heroes and says that, in previous years, he was allowed to display an advertising banner on railings surrounding the village churchyard.

Last July, the parish council changed the rules regarding which organisations could utilise the railings.

Essentially, the council only allow events that raise money for local charities. They also state events must be ‘non-profitable’.

Mr Botterill claims, as a result, he can no longer promote his fairs.

Despite a presentation at last week’s parish council meeting, his request for permission to advertise a fair at Easter was rejected.

Mr Botterill claimed the decision was ‘ridiculous’.

He told councillors the fairs did make a small profit but stressed he organised them for ‘enjoyment and not financial gain’.

He produced letters from Help for Heroes, thanking him for donations.

Mr Botterill argued the fairs attracted up to 200 people who spent money in local shops and restaurants.

He told councillors: “Do these events promote Woodhall and benefit local businesses? Yes. Are they popular with local people and visitors? Yes.

“Do they make a big profit? No. Am I doing this for money? No. Does money go to a charity? Yes.”

Mr Botterill claimed the parish council had recently launched a survey asking people to help promote the village.

He said that was exactly what he was doing.

He also claimed a local school had been allowed to use the railings to advertise a coffee morning which was a profit-making enterprise.

Mr Botterill said the fairs would still go ahead but admitted fewer people would attend - because the railings are in such a prominent position for advertising.

He does advertise elsewhere but claimed less money would be donated to Help for Heroes.

He added: “I accept it is a national charity but it has very strong links given Woodhall’s war-time history.”

Parish council chairman David Clarke said the policy was changed to stop commercial events being advertised.

He accepted Mr Botterill’s fairs did not make a large profit but said if the criteria for the banners was changed it would create a precedent and the council would be inundated with other applications.

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