This email/letter was sent out to the PCA members on 23rd October 2017...
For the reasons we are about to set out below, it pains us to tell you that the PCA is regrettably unable to stage a Light Up The Lane event on Sunday 26th November this year. Nobody is more upset about this than us, both the PCA Committee and the PCA Events team.
As a charity, the PCA is not allowed to host an event unless it meets our stated objectives (please see in full at the foot of this letter). In short, these are to bring the community together and to support local good causes.
One key way of raising funds, for the past sixteen years, has been by running a Light Up The Lane event producing a surplus. In previous years, the cost of running the event has been met through a combination of sponsorship and donations from the traders on the lane. We have then been able to use the surplus raised on the night to meet our charitable aims. This year, due to unprecedented and very difficult financial circumstances, the traders and the PCA are finding it hard to meet the cost of hosting the event. As much as we might wish to, our charitable status does not allow us to use existing PCA funds to support any shortfall, which would be seen as subsidising trading organisations. Neither can we run an event simply on the basis that it is enjoyed by everyone in the community.
We have worked hard to reduce all possible overheads this year and the event continues to rely on the voluntary hard work and efforts of a small group who give their time and experience to this venture. Nevertheless, we still run the risk of the event running at a loss or for minimal return, thereby threatening our ability to operate a generous annual grants scheme.
We also believe it would be unfair to expect our volunteers to offer their valuable spare time, setting up and clearing the event or marshalling road closures, on this basis.
We sincerely hope that a little more sponsorship can be found for next year’s event and/or that the financial climate for the traders gets better (and we do hope that you will all support them in this by buying locally where and when possible) but, for now, we will be taking the following measures to avoid disappointment:
We do appreciate how upsetting this news will be for many of our members and hope that the event will return next year. For this year, however, we trust you will support us in our endeavours to make our much smaller community event a nonetheless enjoyable and festive occasion.
Debbie Edwards (Chair), Linda Rivans (Secretary), Greg Swarbrick (Treasurer),
Belinda Harrison, Lesley Higgs, John Waters and Ingrid Waloff
Stated PCA Charitable Objectives: