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Carnival could become one day event

PUBLISHED: 08:00 06 March 2009 | UPDATED: 08:01 01 August 2010

THIS year's Beccles Carnival could be reduced to a one day event because of financial difficulties facing the organisers.

That stark possibility emerged during frank discussion at the carnival annual meeting on Wednesday, with £3000 in all still owed to people from last year's event.

THIS year's Beccles Carnival could be reduced to a one day event because of financial difficulties facing the organisers.

That stark possibility emerged during frank discussion at the carnival annual meeting on Wednesday, with £3000 in all still owed to people from last year's event.

But carnival committee member Yvette Tackley was confident the event would go ahead this year, though probably on a much smaller scale.

About 20 people, plus last year's committee, attended the meeting where financial realities and a failure to form a new committee has plunged the event into dire straits.

The 2008 committee mostly stood down at the meeting, and revealed that a £3,000 deficit must be paid before money can be raised before planning for the 2009 event.

The £3,000 is the responsibility of the 2008 committee, who will be speaking with the town council and other local businesses about help to clear it, but the new committee will have to start with no money.

The attendees discussed the possibility of changing the Carnival from a three-day to a one day event to save money, however it is still estimated that this would require at least £10,000.

A committee for this year's event has yet to be formed, as the £3,000 must be cleared first, however a group of possible candidates have agreed to consider joining up and a further meeting in the next few weeks will give a clearer impression of whether a committee can be formed.

Ms Tackley, who has been on the committee since 2005, said that she thought it would be taking place this year despite the gloomy realities: “It will go ahead, but it will probably be on a muck smaller scale and only on one day.”

And ex-treasurer Sean Stock, who praised the frank and “healthy discussion” held at the meeting, stressed that £10,000 is not an insurmountable sum to be raised through fund raising and sponsorship.

“It was a good meeting, quite a lot of people wanted to help, and there are ways of raising the money,” he said.

Mr Stock blames the popularity of other events held on the same weekend as the main problem facing the Beccles Carnival. “The number of people who came this year with reasonable weather was the same amount that turned out when it bucketed down last year,” he said. “It isn't that the town doesn't support it - it's that the town isn't there, they're at Latitude or Blickling.”

He added that competition for essential festival amenities on the weekend, such as toilets, signage and fencing, was hiking up the cost of the Carnival.

The date for the next Carnival meeting will be announced in The Journal next week.

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