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Miss Gloucester turned away from Churchdown fun day for representing city

By The Citizen  |  Posted: December 24, 2013


Miss Gloucester Juliette Crosby was not allowed to collect charity funds at a Churchdown fun day

Comments (14)

MISS Gloucester was turned away from Churchdown’s Winter Wonderland family fun day because organisers didn’t want any mention of the city at the event.

Volunteers worked alongside Churchdown Parish Council to put on the free day out for families, complete with ice rink, Santa’s Grotto, real reindeer and fake snow. But when Miss Gloucester turned up dressed as an elf, wearing her beauty pageant sash and crown, she was told she was not welcome in her official role.

Organisers told the Citizen they wanted no mention of Gloucester, after the city council hiked up the rent paid by the parish council for the park and failed to agree an extension to its lease.

Miss Gloucester, Juliette Crosby, said: “I turned up expecting to help out and collect money for my Beauty With A Purpose charity, but was told I couldn’t take part as I was representing Gloucester.

“I was totally embarrassed. I had told my friends and their children to come along to see me.

“It was humiliating to be told I could not get involved. I have lived in Churchdown all my life and I just wanted to give something back to my community. I’m not interested in politics or any disputes.”

The park is joint owned by Cheltenham Borough Council and Gloucester City Council.

With less than 20 years to run on the current lease agreement, parish councillors are concerned for its long term future. They say they have failed to get reassurance that an extension will be granted. A further application for Fields in Trust status, that would protect the land, has also been turned down.

Pearl Stokes, leader of the parish council said: “We tried to contact Miss Gloucester on Friday to say we thought it was not appropriate for her to attend in a role representing Gloucester, but we could not get hold of her.

“As a parish council, we work hard for Churchdown and this was an event for the people here. It was not supported financially by Gloucester City Council so it wasn’t right that the city was represented. It was a free public event paid for by grants and Churchdown Parish Council. We did not want someone shaking a tin asking for money. There are plenty of causes that need our support in Churchdown. We would welcome Juliette and any other young people from Churchdown to help out as residents with future events.”

Councillor Paul James, leader ofGloucester City Council, said: “The Miss Gloucester competition is neither organised, nor funded by the city council. Miss Gloucester does not represent the council but Gloucester in its wider sense and to exclude her because of something which is nothing to do with her does not seem in the Christmas spirit.”

A city council spokesman said decisions on the park’s future are made jointly with Cheltenham Borough Council and added: “In accordance with the provisions of the lease, rent was increased in 2011 from £3,225 to £3,486 per annum.”

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  • loganberry  |  December 29 2013, 9:36PM

    I'm lost for words with Pearl Stokes for turning away Miss Gloucester at the winter wonderland, to bring politics into such a lovely day was pathetic and to embarrass Miss Gloucester turning one of our own villages away was awful. The reason given seems out of place on a fun day, this council business should have been dealt with at the right time and in the right place. Sunday at a fun day was not the right place!

    Rate   3
  • Rhyfelwyr  |  December 24 2013, 7:04PM

    I would personally abolish town and parish councils. They add little, and they can cost a lot. Mind you, all those old busy-bodies would have to find something else to do with their time then...

    Rate   12
  • old_warthog  |  December 24 2013, 4:46PM

    Again, over inflated ego's of the parish councilors coming before the good of the community they serve, time for a change at the next elections me thinks.

    Rate   24
  • jas37  |  December 24 2013, 4:23PM

    This action sounds infantile. It raises the question whether these Parish Council members are capable of being involved in any decision making at any level. They certainly don't come over as responsible adults.

    Rate   14
  • Snappy_Happer  |  December 24 2013, 4:16PM

    It's a worthy sentiment, youknowsit, but if you don't spell it out to the parish council, it's a wasted effort... @churchdownpc

    Rate   3
  • JemmyWood  |  December 24 2013, 1:23PM

    Tin pot Parish councilors with an over inflated sense of self importance... Worth remembering when it comes to Parish 'elections' next time.

    Rate   16
  • whatagreatday  |  December 24 2013, 1:16PM

    Will Pearl Stokes, leader of the Churchdown parish council make a public apology? It appears Churchdown parish council felt self serving vanity was more important than the fun day it was supposed to put on

    Rate   15
  • youknowsit  |  December 24 2013, 12:54PM

    So please come back soon Miss Gloucester, you are more than welcome in Churchdown by us residents !!!

    Rate   7
  • youknowsit  |  December 24 2013, 12:52PM

    Well if this was for the locals residents of Churchdown why was it impossible to move with cars parked everywhere blocking the roads? Another reason the doctors surgery will be a problem?

    Rate   8
  • norman937  |  December 24 2013, 10:48AM

    How satisfying to know the spirit of Christmas still lives on.Julie Crosby was not asking for appearance money,but was donating some of her time for charity.I see nothing wrong with spreading the true meaning of Christmas,which seems it does no include Churchdown.Pathetic,and utterly childish.

    Rate   18