Go-Stow funds decision leads to resignation

A STOW town councillor has resigned over what she called a “premature and deeply unsavoury decision” made by fellow members.

Councillor Moyra McGuie, who has been on the council for nearly three years, said she no longer wanted to serve after councillors decided not to commit any funding to visitor information centre Go-Stow.

The independent centre, owned by Sue and Walter Hasler, opened in January 2010 after Cotswold District Council (CDC) closed its tourism office in the town in 2009.

Over the past nine months the couple have been in talks with CDC in an attempt to secure more funding as, having been open for two years, they felt they should receive the same support as the visitor information centres (VICs) in Bourton, Chipping Campden and Tetbury.

Stow Town Council had also been in talks with CDC about supporting the business and a grant was agreed so the town could keep a VIC.

But after a meeting with Go-Stow last Thursday, Stow Town Council decided against funding the enterprise after “it became apparent the financial contribution they needed was beyond anything that we could properly fund from the public purse”.

“I’m outraged on this decision,” said a furious Coun McGuie, who has resigned with immediate effect.

“We’re losing an extremely valuable resource. Go-Stow has done an incredible amount for the town.”

A town council statement confirmed it was ‘now looking urgently at other ways to provide visitor information in the town.

It continued: “All councillors emphasised how very fortunate our visitors have been to have the services of Go-Stow to date. Should Go- Stow close it will be a great loss to the community.”

Mrs Hasler said they feared they would have to close in December when the lease runs out.

She said: “It has been a slap in the face for all the work we’ve done in the town.

We’re not at all happy and we will be contacting our MP.

“They asked us to manage a new tourist information point they may set up if we manage it on a voluntary basis. It’s added insult to injury.”

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