Defence made of grants made to help Bognor’s Birdman

Malcolm Daniells takes his turn with 'Silver Spirit' juming off Bognor Pier ENGSUS00120130715095128
Malcolm Daniells takes his turn with 'Silver Spirit' juming off Bognor Pier ENGSUS00120130715095128

A STRONG defence of the support for the International Bognor Birdman has been given by a councillor.

County councillor Graham Jones said the community initiative funding scheme had backed the event.

We have always supported the Birdman. We felt so strongly that it was an important event

County councillor Graham Jones

His comments came after the scheme’s latest awards were announced – with a £3,500 grant to the Birdman – just before the Observer revealed this year’s event was about to be scrapped.

Cllr Jones, who revealed the decisions at the latest meeting of the joint western Arun area committee, said afterwards: “We have always supported the Birdman. We felt so strongly that it was an important event.

“I feel that it is ungrateful to say we haven’t when there are other calls on our resources.”

Cllr Jones said the Birdman had also been awarded £3,500 last year but this has to be returned after the event was cancelled.

“The idea of the funding is to act as a kickstart and we don’t normally consider repeat applications but we recognised the significance of Birdman,” he said.

Both grants this year and last year were for the full amount requested.

Funding was also awarded to the Youth of Bognor (£1,000), Rox (£4,767), Regis Gymnastics (£2,500), Bognor Regis Table Tennis Club (£2,000), Armed Forces Day Bognor (£1,661) and Pagham Village Hall Trust (£3,123.55).

A bid by the Number 18 Project for £3,456 was refused because it concerned staffing costs.

Jan Cosgrove, who heads the youth scheme, criticised the decision when he left the meeting.