Galas in Midlothian to be hit by new charges

The 100th Gala of Newtongrnage took place last year
The 100th Gala of Newtongrnage took place last year

Proposed changes to council charges for gala days have met a mixed response, with one committee “disgusted” at the lack of consultation.

Gala day committees in Midlothian received a letter from the council last week informing them of new charges for use of council staff and equipment, which would come into immediate effect.

They will be charged £21.50 an hour for council staff needed outwith 8am to 5pm on the day of the gala.

Wilma Chalmers of Newtongrange Gala Day Committee hit out at the changes and a lack of consultation with the Midlothian Gala Day Forum, something council leader Owen Thompson denies.

She said: “Any cut or charge makes it all the more difficult for us to maintain the gala and for folk to keep going, it is difficult enough to get the funding and support year on year but it is especially difficult to be hit without warning.

“I am disgusted that this has been introduced without any consultation or discussion at the forum – what is the point of having a forum if issues that can have such an impact are not on the agenda? I know from experience that changes should not be implemented without considering the impact on the committee or their ability to run and organise the event, or what they need to do to mitigate the change.”

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