Councillors have agreed to part-fund a badminton tournament in Perth next year using common good cash despite some uncertainty over whether it will actually go ahead due to COVID-19.
Perth’s Common Good Committee decided to grant Perth and District Badminton Association £3000 to host the Scottish National Badminton Championships at Bell’s Sports Centre in 2021 during a virtual meeting held on Monday.
Local authority officials had recommended the committee award the association just £2600 in line with criteria setting out how much common good cash councillors ought to consider awarding organisations holding events where entry fees are charged.
A report put before the committee explained: “The event will see Scotland’s top badminton players compete against each other for national titles.
“Having this event in Perth will enable local clubs, schools and Perth residents to see Scotland’s top players in action. It is considered that a grant of £2600 is consistent with [financial assistance] criteria.”
However, Perth City Centre councillor Andrew Parrott immediately moved to award the association the full £3000 it had asked for.
His motion was seconded by ward colleague Cllr Chris Ahern.
Perth City South councillor Sheila McCole enquired whether the association would still receive the grant if it opted to hold the tournament outwith Perth for whatever reason and was told it would not receive any of it if this happened.
Cllr Parrott, who convened Monday’s virtual meeting, remarked: “I think it’s fair to say … that our assistance would only apply if [the tournament] is held in Perth and if it’s not then the monies would not be forwarded.”
Perth City Centre councillor Eric Drysdale then enquired what would happen to the grant if the association ended up having to cancel next year’s tournament because of any restrictions on gatherings brought about by COVID-19.
He said: “There is at least a possibility that it will have to be cancelled due to COVID-19 and I just wondered what the situation is in relation to the grant that we approve here [if] the event … is cancelled.”
Cllr Parrott replied: “The monies are only paid once an event has taken place … and if the event [doesn’t] take place then the monies are not granted.”
His assertion was confirmed by the council’s community planning officer Christopher Holgate who said: “If the event is cancelled they would not get the grant.”