8:00am Wednesday 2nd April 2014
A FORMER Halesowen Rotarian crossed swords with ex colleagues in a dispute over giving council money to the Great Black Country Road Run.
UKIP councillor Ken Turner tried to scupper a bid for grant aid made by run organiser Alan Bowler to the Belle Vale/Hayley Green and Cradley South Community Forum.
The former Halesowen and Rowley Regis Rotarian, who parted from the club last year, argued against the application for £2,170, claiming it did not fit the criteria.
“We cannot give community funding to see it diverted to fundraising exercises that we are not responsible for,” said Cllr Turner.
He argued that the giving of surplus money from the entry fee to charities contravened the rules of the fund.
But Cllr Bob James attacked Cllr Turner, lambasting him for being “out of order” and the forum approved the application with a further £2,170 already promised from the Halesowen North and South Community Forum to cover the traffic management costs.
Cllr James said the application was no different from the funding requests Cllr Turner had made in previous years, when he was a Rotarian, for Halesowen’s Victorian Day, which is also organised by the club.
Mr Bowler said runners raised money for their own charities and the grant was needed to cover the cost of road closures and the hire of a council car park for the day.
He said sponsorship pays for other costs such runners’ bibs and the event was growing each year, “putting Halesowen on the map”, attracting interest from all over the Black Country and Worcestershire.
This year’s 10k and 5k event in September will be the third and he hopes it will eventually become self-financing.
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