Council helps pay ukulele air fair

MEMBERS of Sleaford Town Council struggled to reach a decision on a request to pay the £225 air fare for 10 ukuleles to fly to Germany via a budget airline.

Sleaford Ukulele Orchestra was requesting financial help from the council's general purposes committee having been asked to go as part of the Sleaford Twinning Association's visit to Fredersdorf Vogelsdorf, the town's potential new German twin.

They are due to perform at the annual Sommerfest in Fredersdorf and the 10 orchestra members making the journey will be paying their own air fare.

However, they discovered that Ryanair charges extra for carrying musical instruments – even little ones like ukuleles.

Founder member Chris Watson asked if the council would cover the 22.50 additional cost per person.

After much agonising, the committee agreed to pay 100 towards the cost.

Coun David Suiter thought the council should support a group that was representing the town but the committee's vice-chairman Bernice Heppell baulked at finding the full amount from their limited reserves for charitable donations.

Town development manager Debbie Scott pointed out that the amount was comparatively cheap as a fiddle player with The Paddies, a group from Fredersdorf which came over in May to take part in the Sleaford Live event, had to pay 120 for his instrument to fly home.