May Day and our cancellation of the event continues to take up a great deal of our time. All members of the City of Wells Lions appreciate the messages and phone calls we have had in support of our stand.
Posting our blog on Facebook has reached 9,878 people of which 4,100 have engaged and 632 have shared or commented. The press has picked up on this activity and I’ve just come off an interview with BBC Radio Somerset.
It is sad that it takes a firm stand from ourselves to get Mendip’s attention.
I want to stress that we have never tried to paint Mendip Council as the bad guy at all. We understand and share the same concern about public safety but Mendip’s overzealous interpretation of such issues is not helpful at all.
In meeting with other prominent volunteer groups in the City recently we’ve learned that we are not the only ones to form this opinion and we want to establish a more co-operative and respectful attitude for everyone’s benefit.
For instance, just two of the 67 issues raised after submitting event plans for a Beer Festival and May Day.
After submitting a plan on how the market square should accommodate stalls, rides and the Maypole. Mendip did not accept the plans we drew as ‘they were not to scale’ and insisted they be re-submitted. We received no suggestion of help, perhaps providing a scaled drawing they surely have to hand for the twice-weekly Wells market.
Where we’ve previously had the benefit of electricity for announcements, this has been withdrawn, unconditionally. As I’ve said this is just 2 points out of 67 issues that we have had to consider.
It is very easy to take our volunteer groups for granted. We certainly feel like that and we know other groups feel dispirited and feel the same way.
Let’s remember that apart from the work involved in planning an event such as May Day, a great deal of work goes into the planning of the Moat Boat Races that we run at the Bishop’s Palace in August. Both of these events increase much-needed footfall in the high street. £thousands are earned by the other charities who have a presence on the day.
Members of the City of Wells Lions are responsible adults with professional experience. We’re not paid, take no expenses in order that 100% of the money we collect is given back. We don’t do it for self-glory or political motives.
We do it to make a difference and so that people less fortunate than ourselves may benefit.