Fun fair owner hit with £1,000 bill

A fun fair owner who had pledged a goodwill cash donation to the Reivers Festival won’t pay up after being billed for £1,000 by Hawick Common Good fund.

Kenny Stuart’s fun fair was supposed to take up around 1,000 square metres in the Common Haugh, but ended up occupying more than twice the agreed area.

The Selkirk-based fair owner, who was in Hawick for a fortnight to coincide with the Reivers Festival, has now been landed with a bill for £1,000, and the whole thing had left Councillor Davie Paterson fuming.

Speaking to the Hawick News this week, Mr Paterson said: “I am not happy at all at the way Hawick Common Good fund has been treated here. Mr Stuart has came to Hawick and basically helped himself to twice the space he was entitled to in the Common Haugh and if it had not been for me kicking up a huge fuss he would have got away with basically ripping us off. He has been billed for £1,000 instead of the originally agreed sum of £500. If it hadn’t been for me he would have got away with this. He’s not on. It needs to be paid and I will be making sure it is paid.”

Earlier this year Councillor Paterson accused Mr Stuart of trying to bribe Common Good members by offering a donation to the Reivers Festival, and this week he was unrepentant.

He added: “This fun fair has grown arms and legs and Mr Stuart has tried to pull the wool over our eyes. This fair was twice the size it was supposed to be and we are entitled to twice the rent. It’s that simple.”

The Hawick News contacted Kenny Stuart who told us: “I just do not know what Councillor Paterson is trying to do here. Yes, the fair was larger than first agreed but there was never an attempt to get away with paying our way. I am more than happy to pay £1,000 to Hawick Common Good Fund. This means that organisations like the Reivers Festival can apply to them for financial assistance.”

Asked if the promised cash donation will still be paid to the festival group, Mr Stuart added: “No, I thought the best way to do it was to simplify it and pay the £1,000 to the Common Good. This means the cash is there for local groups who want to apply for it.”