Future Airshows in Torbay should be self-funding

"To be truly successful, the airshow must be given the opportunity to prove it can fly by itself" say Torbay Liberal Democrats.

Torbay’s Liberal Democrat councillors are set to reject a proposal from Torbay’s Conservative’s to commit to funding the Torbay airshow for five years.

Local Conservatives want to extend the financial commitment from 3 to 5 years, meaning local taxpayers will be funding the airshow until 2022.

The Liberal Democrats will be tabling an amendment at today’s Council meeting that seeks to reaffirm the three-year commitment to finance that was made by the Council this time last year.

Torquay Liberal Democrat councillor Nick Pentney said: “The 2017 airshow was clearly an improvement on last year’s. It was better organised and attracted more people. However, the inescapable fact is that it has cost Torbay Council more than it has brought in. We accept that the airshow is an investment that may be expected to yield real returns in years to come. But the taxpayer shouldn’t be expected to meet that cost for an additional five years.That’s why we seek to reaffirm last year’s decision to underwrite the show up to and including the 2019 event.”

Paignton Liberal Democrat councillor Chris Carter added: “Hoteliers and restaurant owners have told me that they had a significant boost over the 2017 airshow weekend and this, of course, is to be welcomed. But we want to give the airshow the opportunity to prove it can be self-funding and develop to the point where it is not dependent on the local taxpayer to prop it up. You certainly don’t give it that opportunity by throwing more of the council’s money at it. Least of all at a time when the council’s budget is so very stretched and local services are being cut.”

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