Cllr Charles Biscoe argued vigorously this week against the town council giving a £500 grant to a Churches Together summer holidays project called The Big Tent, a children’s Bible club.
“I think the council should not be using taxpayers’ money to promote a specific religious belief, Christian or not. We may leave ourselves open to all kinds of other faiths that we are less comfortable with coming to the council for money.
“And I struggle to see the community benefits of these churches using public money to recruit young people to their beliefs.”
Cllr Janet Reed opposed Cllr Biscoe, saying: “It’s not about pushing Christianity down children’s throats. It’s about teaching them how to behave.”
The council voted to award the money to The Big Tent, with Cllr Biscoe the lone opposing voice.
Town councillors voted to make a £2,500 grant to Wellington Carnival Committee after hearing that the carnival was struggling to remain viable, with decreasing revenue from street collections etc.
Councillors met recently with members of the carnival committee and received reassurances that the grant would go directly towards running costs for the annual parade and not be an indirect contribution to the charities that the Carnival donates to.
Carnival officers made a presentation to the council prior to the main meeting outlining the plans of the South Somerset carnival federation to acquire land on the edge of Ilminster and build a shared workshop complex to construct the large and complex floats that the rival clubs build each year.
No to Dementia but Yes to Genesis
Councillors voted against a start-up grant of £750 to a new body called Wellington Dementia Action Alliance, arguing that it would appear to duplicate services already provided in the town. At the same meeting a grant of £750 was given to Genesis Youth theatre to assist with the costs of equipment and specialist coaches.