Golowan open letter to Penzance Town Council

If you support the following open letter concerning the Golowan Festival, and wish to have your name added as signatory, please fill in your details below.

"It has come to our attention that at last weeks Penzance town council meeting a resolution was passed to put the management of the Golowan festival out to commercial tender.

We must in the strongest possible terms object to this move for a number of reasons.

Firstly, the Golowan festival is a community festival it is essential that it remains linked to the community either through the council or preferably by a community group specially constituted to do so. It was the community that started the festival, it was the community that nourished it, it was the community that ensured it's survival in hard times and it is the community that still turns out to support it . Volunteers of all kinds have poured their souls into this event and to hand it to commercial and potentially outside interest is inappropriate and a slight to those who have given so much.

Secondly, handing the festival to a commercial interest is a false economy. We have spoken to large numbers of volunteers and without exception all feel that they could not support a commercially run event or would feel compelled to charge at professional rates for their services if they did. The existing contractors involved often offer their services at a reduced rate due to the festival's community standing, this will end and the costs will escalate. With escalating costs the fees for stalls etc will have to rise, pricing local business people out of the event.

Thirdly, the town council are not the only people who have an interest in the festival. The founders of the festival, it's volunteers, those who pay towards the friends scheme and those who understand it meaning and value are ALL interested parties and should have in the very least been consulted before this hurried resolution was passed. It is not the councils property to hand out to whom it pleases, it belongs to the people of Penzance & the people of Cornwall.

Fourthly, it remains the people of Penzance's choice to support the festival or not. Support will no doubt fizzle away if handed to an outside event management commercial interest.

Fifth, it places our most cherished traditions at risk. All of the essential continuity with our past will surely be damaged if an outside interest, that does not understand them, takes charge.

In 2006 when the town council stepped into save the festival following the collapse of Golowan Community Arts it was understood that within three years this arrangement would be reviewed with a view to handing back to a community group of some kind. We understand this is recorded as a resolution in the minutes. This did not happen. I urge the council to rethink it's decision and listen to views of interested parties.

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