Ashfield show future is up for debate

THE future of the Ashfield Show will be discussed by cabinet members tomorrow after the authority revealed it shelled out around £110,000 on this year’s event.

The 2011 Ashfield Show, which included X-Factor finalist Stacey Solomon as the headline act, was expected to cost the taxpayer around £126,500 but around £16,500 was saved from the initial budget estimation.

The annual show has come under fire from several councillors and taxpayers in recent years who believe the money could be better spent by the cash-strapped authority.

A report into this year’s show revealed that three quarters of those surveyed said the show was important to them and there was almost unanimous approval for the event to continue.

Ashfield district councillor Gail Turner believes the authority needs to prioritise in other areas rather than paying for another show next year.

“I think we should be drawing our horns in and questioning whether or not the Ashfield Show is value for money,” said Coun Turner.

“You have to consider that across the country and district we are suffering cuts at the moment and you’d have to say it is not value for money.

“I think people will miss it if it doesn’t go ahead which is a great shame but the council has to prioritise things like emptying bins and keeping the streets clean.”

It is recommended that the Ashfield Show 2012 could be amalgamated with the Active Ashfield Games as part of the 2012 Olympics in London.

Cabinet members will meet at Ashfield District Council offices in Kirkby tomorrow evening at 5.30pm to discuss the matter.