The Santa Dash is a great event which has been taken to the hearts of the people of Liverpool who themselves raise thousands and thousands of pounds for charities of their choice. It is something the council has always been behind and supported every year as the event has developed.
That said, the event is a profit making venture by BTR which is a private company and therefore we have to apply the same rules to them as we do to the many other companies running large events in the City.
Let me be clear, these charges have come as no surprise to Alan Rothwell or BTR – he has known about them in good time, with us even extending the deadline to accommodate him. I am really disappointed that Mr Rothwell has decided to play this out in the media while painting an unfair picture of the situation.
The simple fact is that we have to treat BTR in the same way that we treat any other profit making company planning to close the City down.
The figures quoted are not plucked out of the air – there is a legal and fair process that we have to go through in order to estimate any costs and loss of revenue. That said, I am happy to review these figures and if they are in fact too much then we will refund the excess amount to BTR.
In this City we are fighting to keep libraries, children’s centres and care services operating – we simply cannot continue to subsidise private profit making companies. I am sure the public will understand that no money will be lost to charity.
BTR state themselves that the entry fee pays for “costs incurred from Liverpool City Council for road closure permits, loss of parking revenue and staff charges” so to suggest that the money should be kept for profit rather than paying their way is not fair to the people of this city.
However, in the spirit of Christmas, this year I will ensure money goes directly to charity by donating the £11,000 to the Alder Hey Charity. I encourage BTR to match the donation from the profits the company make.
It is disappointing to hear that Mr Rothwell is threatening to take the Santa Dash away from Liverpool but rest assured if he does, we will host it ourselves.