Go Stow in Stow-on-the-Wold will be forced to close after Stow Town Council denied it a grant
A VISITOR Information Centre in Stow-on-the-Wold has been forced to close after they were refused a grant by the town council.
Following Cotswold District Council’s recent announcement that it would be reviewing its funding agreements with VICs across the district, Stow-on-the-Wold Town Council (STC) held a private meeting earlier this month in which it was decided not to award Go-Stow, the town’s privately run VIC, a grant to secure its future.
Sue Hasler, who owns and runs the VIC with her husband Walter, said they were "devastated" STC had not agreed to support them, especially given CDC had said it would consider matching any funding offered by the town council.
"We’ve decided to close at the end of December when our lease runs out," she said. "It’s difficult to see a way forward if they’re not going to fund us.
"We hoped and would like to believe that STC would back us 100 per cent and frankly we don’t deserve to have been treated as we were."
The meeting prompted furious town Cllr Moyra McGhie to resign from the town council, saying she, along with Mr and Mrs Hasler, had understood it was an informal meeting to discuss options.
Although she had previously announced her intention to resign from the council from November, she sent an angry email to all members of STC following the meeting, which she described as "wholly unsatisfactory", and "a very big blot on STC’s copy book", announcing she would resign immediately.
Although Go-Stow seemed to have been thrown a lifeline after it was revealed the STC meeting on Thursday October 4 had not been formally advertised, and therefore any decisions made there were invalid, Sue said they would still be forced to close at the end of the year.
"We’re devastated by the lack of support from councillors, except from Moyra McGhie, who has been brilliant," she said.
Stow Mayor Cllr Robin Jones confirmed the town council would hold a further meeting to discuss the future of the VIC, but refused to comment on the council's position going forward.