Friday, July 13, 2007

Not Feeling it: Haywards Heath fest drains council

The rather bizarre line-up for Haywards Heath's three-day Big Culture Show - The Feeling, a bloke dressed up as Bob The Builder, and Chas and Dave - didn't quite capture anyone's imagination and now locals are trying to find out who signed off on the flop, which left a £150,000 loss to be made good by pubic funds:

Organisers said they were "extremely disappointed" and have blamed bad weather for the lack of takings.

But Councillor Paddy Henry, the sole Labour representative on the Tory-led council, said the three-day event was a "total waste" and that heads should roll.

He said: "If you worked for a private company and you lost £150,000 you'd be out the door. When you're bolstered and feather bedded by council tax money it seems you can just squander it, no questions asked.

"Someone should throw themselves on their sword for this."

The organisers, though, are bullish:
Paul Squires, head of leisure and well being, said the loss represented less than one per cent of his £17 million budget.

He added: "We worked extremely hard to bring a fresh event to Mid Sussex and we are all obviously extremely disappointed with the outcome and the attendance.

"Due to the generosity and support of many local businesses we were able to keep our expenditure well within budget however the income from sales was well down on projections.

"Just like elsewhere, we suffered as a result of bad weather.

"This event was not the success we had hoped for, however the losses represent less than one per cent of our total leisure and culture business.

"As such it will not impact on people's council tax bills as the growth and management of the remainder of our business will be sufficient to ensure we continue to bring innovative, exciting - and occasionally daring - events to Mid Sussex."

Surely not that Paul Squires?

Still, we love the idea that a big gig in a field by The Feeling is what passes for "daring" now in Brett Anderson's childhood hometown.


eyetie said...

"a £150,000 loss to be made good by pubic funds".

I didn't know things were that bad...

For those who think HH has no sense of humour, check out (one of the hidden gems on the web).

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear local authorities arn't too fussed about the odd percent of their budgets going missing- guess they wouldn't miss my paultry council tax contribution also?

Rob said...

The Feeling mnage to stifle even Chaz and Davs talent with their nonsense wannabe rock drivel. Truely a sad day!

Anonymous said...

The Culture shows failure was down to not promoting the event very well and also the price of the tickets, the truth is they told everybody not to bring any food or drink but if you had been there the outlets and facilities wouldnt have coped with the expected crowds, the Beer tent was running out of beer with only a handfull of people for the Bands the Band called Decoys who went on before the feeling, rocked the place, if only they were afforded the same attention with the sound system as the main act.

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