Council split as donation to plug Street Fair

Bellshill Street Fair always attracts crowds, but organisers say they need to publicise it more.
Bellshill Street Fair always attracts crowds, but organisers say they need to publicise it more.

A decision to plough a Bellshill Street Fair donation into advertising instead of helping good causes has angered some community councillors.

Amusements operator M&D’s wants to raise the profile of the three-day carnival in May.

However, its decision not to hand over a four-figure sum for Bellshill Community Council to use has been criticised.

Council members John Devlin and Joe Gorman said the donation had allowed the council to present £1,000 cheques to two foodbanks two years ago.

Mr Devlin added: “M&D’s give us £2,000 for the privilege of getting involved with the Street Fair. This is them putting something back into the community. The money should be untouchable.”

Mr Devlin said there had to be acknowledgement that the Street Fair costs the community council money and funfair operators benefit financially.

However, council secretary Duncan McLeod said that while M&D’s organises the funfair the rides are supplied by individual operators so M&D’s doesn’t cash in to any significant effect.

He agreed with Douglas Taylor jnr, of M&D’s, who told the monthly community council meeting a publicity drive is needed to “refresh” the Street Fair.

A spokesman for M&D’s said: “We are committed to working with the community council to make this a great family event and will be investing our annual donation in advertising the fair.”

Last month the Speaker told how a bid to extend the three-day event to five days had been shelved amid concerns that town centre traders could be suffering as a result of the street closures over the holiday weekend.

There have also been calls for lower funfair ride prices while M&Ds wants to add more stalls on the Sunday and Monday.

Mr Devlin said he plans to raise the donation issue at next month’s community council meeting.