Funds cut for festival

THIS year’s Autumn River Festival will be scaled back after Lotterywest pulled funding.

For the past three years Bayswater council has got a $20,000 Lotterywest grant, almost half the cost of the festival.

But this year Lotterywest said it had already doled out enough cash in Bayswater, citing events such as the Ninja Warrior Park project, the Avon Descent and the Baysie Arts Festival.

Baysy also missed a revised deadline for funding submissions.

City staff say there will probably be fewer carnival rides and marquees at the festival because of the cuts.

Officers are also proposing giving away council merchandise already lying around the office instead of fruit as another cost-cutting measure.

Cr Georgia Clarke said Lotterywest had “changed the goalposts” on the council.

• The 2017 Autumn River Festival. Imagine this, but cheaper.

“I think this is a fantastic event, it’s been going on for years,” she said at the February 26 meeting.

“It’s a real shame that Lotterywest doesn’t think it’s appropriate to continue that support.

“This is the first I’ve ever heard of them expanding out the [submission] timeframes from three months to five months, and then saying ‘you’ve already had your pot of money’.”

Cr Catherine Ehrhardt wanted to hold a council workshop to find a way to deliver the event at its original $48,000 budget.

Cr Ehrhardt said they’d already scrimped and saved to get the budget down.

“To chop that in half again for one of our premiere events – I can’t support that,” she said.

Councillors Clarke, Stephanie Grey and mayor Dan Bull agreed, but were outvoted by the rest of the council who endorsed the revised budget of $26,000.

by DAVID BELL

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