City Council rejects grant application for Andover Fayre

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The City Council has rejected an application for grant funding submitted by Mayor Cllr David Coole for the Andover Summer Fayre.

An extraordinary meeting of the plenary council has decided not to grant a grant for the event to be held in Vigo Park on Saturday August 27.

Cllr David Coole and Cllr Joanne Coole are both directors of Our Andover CIC, a non-profit organization that owns the fayre.

Several councilors raised concerns about the grant application after the two councilors pulled out of the meeting for the debate.

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Cllr Robin Hughes said Cllr Coole should not have written an email to all councilors asking for a grant for the event.

Cllr Hughes said: “I think we have a real problem with the director of CIC also being the mayor of the town.”

“Yesterday [on Tuesday, August 23], he updated all advisors via email in a way that’s not really what should be done. Our code of conduct seems to suggest that we don’t do things like that and certainly try to influence councilors the day before this meeting on why you should vote for them. That’s one of my issues with it.

“The second issue is that they are asking for £600 insurance for another event – Festival of Motoring. In this one [Summer Fayre], they ask for £400 insurance. They therefore ensure the events one by one. If you are a member of a community organization, you identify insurance as a whole. He has an insurance policy that covers all events.

Cllr Richard Rowles has also expressed concerns that there is no revenue from the Summer Fayre.

“I participated in the organization of many events. And then at the end of the event, the companies present at the event come and they give you a lot of money. This is called the concession, which is not here. I can only believe the revenue is nowhere because the profits will be spent by Our Andover CIC, also helping the local community. If their idea was to then give it to other people, then there is no way we can give money to people who give it to other people.

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Cllr Luigi Gregori said: “I have some sympathy for Andover CIC. I think they left it too late to apply. He talks about fundraising and then that money goes somewhere else, which is a bit of a problem with CIC.

The council then voted down the request.

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