Free music event hit by £770 bins demand

Buckingham Bandjam
Buckingham Bandjam

Buckingham Town Council is facing an unexpected bill for £770 from Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) for refuse bins at its two outdoor music events this summer.

After 14 years of working in partnership, AVDC has now told the town council’s town centre and events committee it must fund the cost of refuse bins at Music In The Market and BandJam this year.

Committee chairman Robin Stuchbury said he was very disappointed as the announcement came with no warning, and after the town council had set its precept and agreed its 2014 event budgets.

Mr Stuchbury said AVDC has budgeted £94,100 on supporting events in Aylesbury, which is partly funded by ratepayers via their council tax.

“You could say we are now being charged to fund activities in Buckingham, while at the same time funding events in Aylesbury via the Aylesbury Vale rate,” said Mr Stuchbury.

“We respect AVDC’s right to choose whether to charge for its services. But when a council has events of such long standing, it would have been nice to have prior warning.

“We hope this is a one-off, and doesn’t become a common occurrence in unbudgeted expenses in regards to working with the district.”

AVDC deputy chief executive Jon McGinty said: “Local authorities are facing their toughest financial challenge to date and we are left with no choice but to change the way we do things, in order to protect key services. Some services which have previously been free may well have to be charged for. Regrettably, we are no longer able to provide the landfill bins free of charge. However, we appreciate that these are local events which are very important to the community. As such, we have aimed our charges at covering our costs and keeping charges below commercial rates.”