Dartmouth Regatta has asked for an increase in future annual sponsorships from the town council, to help with rising costs of cleaning up the town after the event.
Dartmouth Town Council awards £5,000 each year, much of which is recouped by the council from hire charges for use of Royal Avenue Gardens and Coronation Park.
Cllr Cathy Campos proposed the council considers an increase to the annual sponsorship for Regatta at this month’s full town council meeting.
Regatta Chairman Ed Botterill spoke to councillors at the Guildhall.
He said: “We’re very grateful to Dartmouth Town Council for their major sponsorship but we have a burning issue to address. We need to tidy up the town after ourselves and are always happy to pay for road sweeping and bin emptying costs etc. Last year the clean-up bill was just under £10,000 but this year we’ve been quoted £16,000 – a 64 per cent increase.”
Ed said FCC had the contract for cleaning on behalf of South Hams Council, so they were unable to go elsewhere for a lower quote. He also said the company had initially said they wouldn’t be able to carry out extra collections to clean up after the Regatta.
He said he hoped MP Anthony Mangnall and South Hams Cllrs would support the Regatta and step in to help.
Regatta has a number of blue rubbish bins that are emptied during the days. It’s the street cleaning during the Regatta that is causing the issue with costs.
Ed asked if Dartmouth Town Council would consider looking at increasing the amount of their sponsorship in the years to come. This year’s £5,000 sponsorship is already locked into the council’s budget so cannot be adjusted.
Cllr Phil Howard commented that it appeared the Music Festival hadn’t had a problem with the rubbish, and it was clean and tidy. Cllr Cathy Campos disagreed.
Cllr Graham Evans reminded councillors they needed to vote on the proposal for the agenda item and that further discussions could be held at a later date.
Cllr Martin McGowan-Scanlon said the question of this year’s sponsorship should go back to the finance and general purposes committee and then recommendations brought back to full council. Cllrs Graham Evans and Andrea Cates said the sponsorship for 2022 was in the budget for this year, therefore it should be paid but future years could be looked at.
Cllr McGowan-Scanlon asked if the Regatta had submitted accounts as he would like to see them. The clerk said that she would ask the RFO to circulate these to all councillors for consideration for the future.
Councillors then voted in favour of the proposal - that the council make the sponsorship payment for 2022 as previously agreed but that they would revisit the annual sponsorship for Regatta for the following year. Nine councillors voted in favour, making it a majority vote.
Cllr Evans suggested that as there were councillor representatives on the Regatta Committee that they come back to the town council with their recommendations at a later date. The majority of the council agreed to this.
In his report to councillors Ed Botterill also said Regatta had changed their booking model to allow Dartmouth businesses or those within the TQ6 post code to have first chance at a booking a month ahead of everyone else for the event.