COUNCIL spending watchdogs have called for more clarity and transparency over a pop concert in South Tyneside.
The Taxpayers Alliance want council bosses to reveal how much last Saturday’s SoundWaves concert cost the borough.
South Tyneside Council says that, while more than 3,000 people attended the event – which saw acts like All Saints, Texas and Gabrielle on stage – it can’t say how much was actually paid for tickets.
Entry to the gig, which was held in Bents Park, South Shields, cost £30 for adults and £20 for concessions but, last month, the tickets were being offered on a “two-for-one” basis and others were giving away as part of a ‘nominate your workmate’ scheme.
South Tyneside Tory Councillor, Jeff Milburn, says he will be stunned if the event has made a profit and called on the council to make the figures available.
Yesterday, Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the Taypayers’ Alliance, also called for the figures to be revealed.
He said: “Taxpayers deserve to know how much of their money has been spent on this concert.
“When the council needs to make savings, they must prioritise properly. There’s no way a concert should be top of the list.”
A council spokesman said it was not refusing to provide information. It is still being still collated.
He said: “South Tyneside has an excellent track record for staging live music shows, which are not only very well received by local people, but significantly increase the number of visitors to our borough and the length of time people spend in the area.
“Every year, the council holds the hugely popular free summer festival programme, which draws up to two million visitors to the coastline and helps to support thousands of jobs in tourism.
“Soundwaves is held in addition to this and supports our plans to make South Tyneside a place people want to come to, talk about and invest in.
“Over 3,000 people came to the Soundwaves music concert at the weekend, featuring top-class performances by Texas, All Saints, Gabrielle and rising star Lulu James, and they had a fantastic time.”