Xmas celebration less than magical

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Rye Town Council is considering clawing back an agreed £1,000 donation toward Rye’s Christmas celebrations after describing last Saturday’s event as ‘underwhelming’.

Rye Town Council’s policy and resources committee voted to award the Chamber of Commerce £1,000 toward this year’s Christmas Festival when it met on November 24.

But speaking at this week’s full council meeting Cllr Ian Potter said: “Considering an event that can be best described as ‘underwhelming’ the £1,000 is a waste of money and should be reconsidered.

“Do we really want to give £1,000 to an organisation that has not specified exactly where the money is spent and has £16,000 in its reserves?”

The event had to be rescheduled from December 13 to December 6 following a “communication break-down” according to Town Clerk Richard Farhall.

Karen Porter, who was visiting Rye from Hastings, said: “There was a short procession then nothing seemed to happen.

“My family was disappointed. It did not feel magical at all. We thought Rye would do better than that.”

Rye Mayor Cllr Bernardine Fiddimore, said: “I feel intensely sorry for the one or two people who worked really hard to do something good.

“Neil Cunliffe, from the Chamber, worked tirelessly on the day but lacked support,

“It was left too late to organise again. Christmas happens at the same time each year and we need to do better as a town.

“You look at nearby towns such as Tenterden and Cranbrook and they do really well.”

The council voted to reconsider awarding the grant.