Mayor James Palmer refutes Private Eye claims with balance sheet showing how charity ball raised £12,000 without costing any cost to taxpayer

PUBLISHED: 14:38 24 January 2019

£12,000 was raised at the inaugural ball held by Mayor James Palmer. The £120 a head event was held in the Lady Chapel of Ely Cathedral. Picture: FACEBOOK

£12,000 was raised at the inaugural ball held by Mayor James Palmer. The £120 a head event was held in the Lady Chapel of Ely Cathedral. Picture: FACEBOOK

MLV Photography 2017

Mayor James Palmer has released the balance sheet of his charity ball last summer to refute allegations made in satirical magazine Private Eye that it had been funded by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CAPCA).

£12,000 was raised at the inaugural ball held by Mayor James Palmer. The £120 a head event was held in the Lady Chapel of Ely Cathedral. Picture: FACEBOOK £12,000 was raised at the inaugural ball held by Mayor James Palmer. The £120 a head event was held in the Lady Chapel of Ely Cathedral. Picture: FACEBOOK

The figures show that the ball – at Ely Cathedral –raised nearly £12,000 and the event was entirely self funded.

It appears the magazine wrongly interpreted payment data released monthly by CAPCA under its transparency code which showed a payment for band hire of £1,130 and a further payment to Crown Caterers of Newmarket for £14,194.

However that money was repaid through the proceeds of the ball which, as the balance sheet shows, show a profit of £9,385.67.

The statement issued by Mayor Palmer shows that an additional £1,600 was raised “as a result of the ball” and this was paid direct to the charity, PTSD999.

£12,000 was raised at the inaugural ball held by Mayor James Palmer. The £120 a head event was held in the Lady Chapel of Ely Cathedral. Picture: FACEBOOK£12,000 was raised at the inaugural ball held by Mayor James Palmer. The £120 a head event was held in the Lady Chapel of Ely Cathedral. Picture: FACEBOOK

Luke Page, the mayor’s spokesman, said: “The costs were covered by the income from ticket sales and other fund raising activities.”

The balance sheet shows income of £25,960 made up from:

1: Sales of tickets £17,920

2: Auction: £3,221

£12,000 was raised at the inaugural ball held by Mayor James Palmer. The £120 a head event was held in the Lady Chapel of Ely Cathedral. One of the images from the PTSD999 Facebook page.£12,000 was raised at the inaugural ball held by Mayor James Palmer. The £120 a head event was held in the Lady Chapel of Ely Cathedral. One of the images from the PTSD999 Facebook page.

3: Raffle: £1,860

4: Heads & Tails: £1,334

5: Reimbursement of transport: £85

6: Silent auction: £1,540

It also shows event costs (net) of £16,574.33, leaving a profit on the actual event itself of £9,385.67.

The money raised has gone to Cambridgeshire-based PTSD999, which supports emergency services personnel suffering with post-traumatic stress.

Cambridgeshire-based PTSD999 was co-founded by former soldier Simon Durance and former soldier and police officer Gary Hayes, both of whom have suffered with post-traumatic stress disorder.

The black tie event last June included drinks and canapés on arrival, a sit-down three-course mean followed by music and dancing.

Mayor Palmer said: “I had met Simon during my mayoral campaign and I was hugely impressed by his energy and all that he was doing with PTSD999 to help in a hugely important area.

“We rightly praise our emergency services for their tireless work and bravery, but what perhaps doesn’t get the attention it deserves are the after-effects on those personnel of being in life-or-death and distressing situations.

“PTSD999 not only supports our valued emergency services workers, but also campaigns to put the effects of PTSD out into the public eye and open up the conversation.”

Mayor Palmer said: “For my first ball I honestly had no expectations about what could be raised” adding that he was “chuffed” by its success.

Guests were also able to bid for prizes such as weekend retreats, football tickets and dining experiences, with some of the lots fetching in excess of £1,000.

Martin Millard, Director at Cheffins, who was auctioneer on the night, said: “The Mayor’s Ball was a well-supported event for an incredibly worthy cause.

“The level of enthusiasm was clearly demonstrated by the diversity and quality of the lots donated to the auction and the strength of bidding that it drew, despite the acoustic challenges of the Lady Chapel.

“Highlights included a Tesla electric child’s car and dinner with Andy McNab, all of which saw some strong prices bid.”

King’s Ely provided musical entertainment during the drinks reception.

Auction items and prizes were contributed by among others Spirotech; Gonville Hotel; Ventress Group; Royal Standard; Ely Hill; Crown Catering; Jockey Club; Newmarket LDH (La Doria) Limited; BGL; Scruffs of Cambridge; Edis of Ely; Anglia Water Services; Marianne Dang; Tottenham Hotspur; Carter Jonas.

FOOTNOTE

On its website PTSD999 describes itself as a “social enterprise run entirely by volunteers”. Mayor Palmer referred to as a “Cambridgeshire-based charitable cause which offers much-needed mental health support to emergency services workers who are suffering post-traumatic stress”.

He had previously referred to the event as his “inaugural charity ball”. There is a company called PTSD999 Ltd set up in February 2017. Last month it published its first set of micro accounts available through Companies House.

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