Considering ‘controversial’ bandstand use

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What is the purpose of Brigg’s market place bandstand? That was the wider question for councillors at the monthly town council meeting.

The matter was raised as a result of an application from the Scunthorpe and District anti-abortion Pro Life group to use the bandstand for publicity purposes.

And that request was not immediately accepted by Brigg Town Council.

Councillors expressed concern at the way advertisements and leaflets might impact upon those visiting the market place, especially on subjects on which opinion was divided.

The bandstand was criticised locally after its construction a decade ago, the main criticism being that it was too small and could not accommodate a brass band.

Councillors considered whether the Pro Life application was in line with policy presently governing use of the bandstand and whether that policy should be reviewed.

“I have concerns on the effect of this on the market place atmosphere,” said Coun John Kitwood.

“I do not want to see it go ahead without a demonstration beforehand to the Town Council.”

And at the Property and Services Committee opinions were divided on the Pro-Life application.

Coun Penny Smith observed the group is a charity and there is “no reason for permission not to be granted.”

But Coun James Truepenny expressed concern with regard to the topic matter the group wishes to share with the public and suggested it would be preferable for such a topic to be discussed in a closed environment rather than in a public space.

Coun Chris Dyson suggested the topic matter is somewhat controversial and he was equally concerned with regard to it being aired in a public space.

The Town Council is also to open discussions with the North Lincolnshire Council legal team and its Markets 
Officer to explore the possibility of drawing up a new policy to mirror or dovetail into the policy governing market stall hire or other town centre space where ‘not for profit’ or charitable use is intended.

The council is mindful to consider the frequency of use by any single group, as there has been an increasing practice of organisations block booking the bandstand which could prevent others from making use of the market place facility.