The Head of Community Development and Leisure presented the above report, which had been previously circulated to Members. The purpose of the report was for Members to note the existing allocation of £51,812.36 funding to the Foyle Cup, comprising of a direct Service Level Agreement of £23,000 and in kind contributions. In addition, the Committee was asked to consider the request from the Foyle Cup Organising Committee for additional funding of £10,000 for the 2018 tournament.
Councillor Cusack proposed the recommendation to provide additional funding for the tournament. She stated that the Foyle Cup tournament brought thousands in both people and pounds year after year to the City and District. She remarked how the event showcased the City and provided a tremendous tourism opportunity that reached further than advertising campaigns. She paid tribute to Mr Hutton and the Organising Committee for their work.
Councillor Donnelly concurred with the sentiments expressed and noted the benefits of the tournament.
Alderman McClintock welcomed that the tournament brought numerous visitors to the City and District. She noted that the funding was being requested to cover increased travel costs for teams from outside the Council area and whilst the Foyle Cup did a tremendous amount of good for the young people and the profile of the City, the teams concerned were from further afield. She enquired if young people from the City and District were given similar opportunities to take part in the tournament as it was important that they were given the chance to participate. She stated that Council should encourage and assist the organisers to look at other avenues of funding for the event as it should not become a recurring cost to Council.
Councillor McGinley stated that Sinn Fein supported the Foyle Cup and noted that the tournament had grown in strength each year. He stated that it was important to highlight that Council had been the most involved and most consistent contributor to the tournament. He welcomed the increase in funding from Tourism NI and felt there should be increased support from the other bodies involved in the Foyle Cup as Council had a finite budget. He stated that Sinn Fein could not support the request for additional funding this year. He further stated that he was conscious that many other groups and organisations had been unsuccessful in seeking funding from Council. He suggested that Officers continued to work with the organisers to identify other means of offering practical support. He added that he felt it was ironic that other parties had supported the recommendation for additional funding but had recently refused to support an increase in the rates.
Alderman Hussey extended his congratulations to the organisers of the Foyle Cup. He stated that he had been involved in the tournament and that the utilisation of cross border pitches had been an enjoyable element of the competition. He referred to the breakdown for accommodation within the report and asked if there was any reason why certain clubs had received a subvention towards their accommodation.
In response, the Head of Community Development and Leisure stated that decisions regarding accommodation and transport were taken by the organising committee of the tournament. He stated that Council had a Service Level Agreement regarding its contribution to the event.
Councillor Tierney stated that he wished to clarify that SDLP did support the rates increase but did not support the process of the rates regarding the rates support grant.
Councillor Duffy felt that to support the recommendation would leave Council wide open as the request had not gone through the normal application process. She stated that the local arts group Studio 2 had recently asked for funding outside of the normal procedures. and she noted that many other valuable community organisations and events had to apply for funding through the correct procedures.
Councillor Tierney requested a recorded vote.
Following a request for a recorded vote the voting was as follows:
For the recommendation – Aldermen R Hamilton, McClintock and Thompson; Councillors Cusack, Donnelly, Gardiner, Robinson and Tierney – 8.
Against the recommendation – Councillors Carlin, Duffy, McCauley, McGinley and R McHugh – 5.
Recommended that Members consider the request from the Foyle Cup Organising Committee for additional funding of £10,000 for the 2018 tournament.