Plans to brighten up Cupar’s main thoroughfare with bunting during the children’s gala and Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend have been dealt a blow.
The town’s children’s gala committee wants to string bunting up along Bonngate and at The Cross to get everyone in the celebratory spirit from Friday, June 1.
However, the £1500 cost quoted by Fife Council to hang up the bunting has made the plan unafforadable.
The gala’s joint chairperson Cheryl King said she had been shocked when the council told her how much it would cost.
“The committee is prepared to cover the cost of providing 1200 metres of bunting which would stay in place right through the gala and jubilee weekend until the Olympic torch comes through the town,” she said.
“It could also be used by other groups - completely free of charge.
“However, the cost of putting it up makes the whole thing totally prohibitive.“
Cheryl went on: “We wanted people to recognise that the gala was on and be part of it.
“We aren’t allowed any signage like the banner across the road any more so it’s very difficult to let people know what’s on.
“It is very disappointing for a voluntary group which totally relies on fund-raising to be hit with such a cost, especially when the Council isn’t doing anything itself to encourage people into the town.”
Cheryl said she was also told the gala would have to pay for insurance while the bunting is up.
Anne Black, who owns children’s clothing store Funky Rascal, has said she is prepared to cover the cost of 400 metres of bunting for shops in Crossgate so the whole town can join in the celebrations , but again said the potential cost of having the council put it up - plus the added cost of insurance - is too steep.
She said: “Fife Council is doing nothing to help community groups and businesses.
“Why should we have to fund all of this ourselves?”
Community councillor Gina Logan, who is organising a mini Olympics event on the day the torch comes to Cupar, said: “Cupar and District Community Council agreed that it would be a good idea to have the bunting which is usually erected for the children’s gala in June left in place for June 12, when the Olympic torch comes to Cupar.
“It appears that this may not be possible, due to the excessive charges being made by Fife Council to erect the bunting.
“Have Fife Council officials not being watching the news?
“As the torch travels round Britain all the towns and villages it passes through are decorated with bunting and flags — please let common sense prevail and ‘Light up Cupar’!”
Dave Smeaton, Fife Council’s roads management lead officer, said: “The estimate is based on a full day’s work to put the bunting up and another day to take it down and requires the use of two cherry pickers to erect the bunting on lamp posts in a safe manner.
“We have to cover our costs and, if the job took less time, of course we’d charge less, but we don’t want to underestimate the time involved.
“Should it prove more cost effective for the group they could arrange for another contractor to undertake the work using a safe method of working which would need to be agreed with my team.”