Council row threat to park music day in Long Sutton

Roberta "Bobbie" Ashton, one of three members to have resigned from Long Sutton Parish Council.
Roberta "Bobbie" Ashton, one of three members to have resigned from Long Sutton Parish Council.
  • Ex-parish councillor’s complaints are ‘without foundation’, claims spokesman
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A row over the running of Long Sutton Parish Council which has led to three resignations is threatening the staging of a summer music event.

Music in the Park, a free, live music event held in Winfrey Park, Long Sutton, on the August Bank Holiday weekend, is in doubt amid claims that the parish council has refused permission for the event to take place.

We seem to always find reasons why we cannot do events when, surely, we should find ways of helping town groups to stage events, even when we do not have to put any money from the budget into these ventures

Roberta Ashton, ex-member of Long Sutton Parish Council

A petition has been launched to rally public support for the event organised by EELS (Events and Entertainment in Long Sutton), although a parish council spokesman said certain details on the petition were “incorrect and untrue”.

Roberta Ashton, who raised the petition, said: “EELS has a licence to hold events in the park but Long Sutton Parish Council, in its wisdom, has decided that it won’t recognise the licence.

“For years, there have been events held in the park and people have asked for permission to organise them.

“But suddenly, the parish council want assurances about health and safety issues from people who have experience of organising these events.

“So I’m hoping to get enough signatures on the petition to enable people power to have its effect and make the parish council change its mind.”

Mrs Ashton is one of the three parish councillors to have resigned this month, along with Laura Eldridge and Jack Tyrrell who are both South Holland District Council members for Long Sutton.

In her resignation letter, Mrs Ashton said: “I have become very disillusioned with Long Sutton Parish Council and there are a number of issues that I have difficulties with (when it comes to) understanding the logic behind the decisions.

“I cannot understand why the people of Long Sutton do not come before any personal likes or dislikes.

“We are there to represent these people but do very little to enhance their interest or enjoyment, even when we do not have to put any money from the budget into these ventures.

“Rather, we seem to always find reasons why we cannot do events when surely we should find ways of helping town groups to stage events.

“Basically, I am ashamed to say I am a parish councillor for Long Sutton.”

A Long Sutton Parish Council spokesman said: “I can confirm that Cllrs Tyrrell and Mrs Eldridge as parish councillors and the reason they gave was due to the pressures of being on both the parish and the district council.

“South Holland District Council has been advised of their resignations.

“Mrs Ashton has submitted a letter of resignation but this has yet to be reported to full council and the contents of it (are something) I am unable to disclose at this time.

“With regards to the petition, the council is aware of the document and that it contains incorrect information.

“It does not state the name of the petitioner, etc, as is required and people would be signing to an untrue statement if they did so.

“The council is also aware of postings on social media by various parties and this, along with other matters, will be discussed by the parish council in due course.

“But at this time, we are unable to comment further on a matter that is without foundation, in relation to the proposed Music in the Park event, or with regard to the actions and resignation of Mrs Ashton.”

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