Festivals tax

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Having had a number of years’ experience as a volunteer organising events (the Loony Dook for 30 years, Queensferry’s Ferry Fair and Christmas Pageant, Queensferry RNLI Open Day), I read with interest your article “Festivals tax: leave it to experts, not the council, says director” (2 September), noting particularly the comments regarding funding from the City of Edinburgh Council’s culture leader Richard Lewis.

Only too well do I know what is involved, especially when it comes to the time, effort and financial costs of planning and putting on successful public and community events, especially raising the substantial sums of money required, often in order to meet the stringent but necessary legal and public safety issues which arise.

What I don’t understand (and I expect to be told I’m being naive) is Richard Lewis’s comment that “there is a definite need for an alternative funding system for Edinburgh’s festivals which are worth some £261 million to the city’s economy”.

Surely if Edinburgh’s festivals generate £261m annually then the funding for these festivals can easily be met from that not inconsiderable income? Or is that too simple?

Perhaps Mr Lewis could explain why it should be necessary for an “alternative funding system” to be found.

David M Steel

Springfield Terrace

South Queensferry