At the last meeting of Ventnor Town Council, just after the public were excluded from the Winter Gardens Management Committee, the next agenda item to be discussed was the 2009 Jazz Festival – if they would sanction the hire of the Winter Gardens.
You might remember the black cloud over the festival with unpaid debts from both the 2007 Jazz Festival and the 2007 Folk and Blues Festival.
Chair of the Winter Gardens Management Committee (WGMC), Maureen Cawley, had agreed to pencil the 2009 festival in to take place at the Winter Gardens, subject to there being no negative publicity and all debts paid by September 2008.
After John Wortham raised concerns at a Ventnor Town Council meeting a couple of months ago, we understand from minutes of the WGMC that the situation would be reviewed on a monthly basis.
According to the minutes of the last meeting held on the 14th July, it appears that the WGMC have now decided that they will accept the booking from the organisers, Sigma Promotions to use the Winter Gardens in April 2009.
While many people in town and across the Island support _a_ Jazz festival in town, there’s a lot of discomfort — including BBC journalists — that the money that is owed to local businesses, who provided services in previous years, have not been paid.
VB will call around and find out the current state of play with monies outstanding from the Jazz Festival.
The subject of outstanding debts from the Folk and Blues Festival seem to have been totally ignored by the WGMC. Why, we’re not sure?