Community council chair sees both points of view

THE FRONT page story in last week’s Arbroath Herald about the Facebook-based campaign against the charges imposed by Arbroath Events for entry to the Seafront Spectacular at Victoria Park has evoked a strong response from our readers.

Many were critical of the fact that we had reported criticism of the event and were outspoken in their condemnation of the newspaper which is, after all, the focal point for local opinion. But the organisers themselves decided that they did not wish to comment and will instead go ahead with their normal debrief process with the agencies involved in what was a hugely successful day.

This year’s adult entry fee was £5 and children were charged £2. However, a glossy programme was available free.

But an online campaign has been mounted against the charges imposed at Victoria Park with several people saying the organisers are pricing themselves out of the market. Others stated that they were not able to attend because of the cost.

The chairwoman of the Royal Burgh of Arbroath Community Council, Mrs Pat Millar, feels that the Facebook comments are unfair and believes that the comments are akin to “a kick in the teeth” for the members of the organising committee and all the volunteers who take part.

She commented: “I have known the people who organise the Seafront Spectacular for many years and their raison d’etre has always been to provide entertainment for local folk and visitors.

“They are not trying to make money out of it for themselves, the intention has always been simply to put on a show for the people of Arbroath. Folk should be encouraged to do things for the good of the town.

“There are ways of putting your point across other than setting up an online site and we must remember that nobody is forced to go to the Seafront Spectacular if they don’t want to.”

Mrs Millar went on: “However, I can also see the situation from the other side. These are hard times and I can sympathise with those of limited means who perhaps would have liked to go to the Spectacular but could not afford to.”

Councillor Donald Morrison praised the organisers of the Seafront Spectacular for the time they devote and the work they put in.

He told the Herald: “It is a mammoth task for all those who give up a great deal of their time to organise events such as the Seafront Spectacular and they should be congratulated for their efforts. “Sadly the costs of insurance, security etc., for the Spectacular increases every year and the organisation committee have had to make a difficult decision which affects us all. “However, both the Spectacular and Sea Fest, which is on next weekend, remain extremely popular and continue to attract thousands of visitors to Arbroath every year which can only be good for the local economy.”