A FORMER mayor of Evesham says the town council should show more support to the Vale’s struggling charities, rather than helping fund entertainment for twinning visits.

At a town council meeting on Monday, Councillor Jim Bulman spoke out against proposals to donate £450 to Evesham Twinning Association, saying it was “basically a holiday club”.

Members were discussing which of the town’s groups and charities should receive money in a round of grants when Coun Bulman said: “In the current state of affairs I am querying whether we should be donating to the twinning association when we have charities on their uppers and the twinning association is basically a holiday club.”

Speaking to the Journal after the meeting he added: “The place that springs to mind is the Avonvale Special Needs Playgroup.

“Some of these charities are only getting a small amount of money, so for something like the twinning association – which I have nothing against personally but it is not a charity – to get this grant doesn’t seem right. I think charities should take priority over it.

“In normal circumstances I wouldn’t have any problem but it current circumstances, charities are really struggling to get through.”

Coun Frances Smith, who is part of the twinning association, defended the donation which she said is spent on hospitality and entertainment for visitors from Evesham’s twin towns.

A group from Evesham in New Jersey, USA, is due to arrive in Evesham today.

She said: “I object. When we go abroad we pay for ourselves.

About £2,000 will be spent on the 31 Americans arriving this week.”

Meanwhile, some councillors also suggested cutting the amount of money allocated to the Citizens Advice Bureau in Evesham, but this was opposed by other members of the council.

Members, including Coun Bulman, eventually voted in support of donating the suggested amount of £12,070 to four different groups.

The Citizens Advice Bureau was allocated £6,120, the Evesham Volunteer Centre will receive £4,500, the twinning association will get £450 and £1,000 will be given to Evesham Riverside Shopmobility.

Coun Jo Sandalls added that she supported money going to the three charities.