09:50AM, Friday 16 March 2018
Secrecy surrounding plans for the Royal Wedding is causing growing concern for Windsor businesses.
The lack of information and transparency from organisers means that many have been unable to plan for the days and weeks running up to the regal nuptials on May 19.
And with less than 10 weeks to go until Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tie the knot, many feel that time is running out to let them know.
“I think we’ve made better plans for Brexit than we have for this wedding,” was the scathing verdict of Cllr Colin Rayner (Con, Horton and Wraysbury), chairman of the Royal Borough’s Tourism Development Forum.
At the panel’s meeting on Tuesday (March 13), he said: “I know as much as I read in the Daily Mail or the Telegraph, but when it all goes wrong guess who will get blamed.
“I thought we live in a democracy and as a councillor that I might be involved because then I can bring forward concerns.
“You can’t say it’s a security risk because the route has been publicised, so why all the security?”
His view was backed by fellow form member Cllr Gerry Clark (Con, Bisham and Cookham), who added: “As a member [of the forum], it’s baffling and possibly offensive that officers may know things that elected councillors don’t.”
Julia White, the council’s visitor manager, said she had had meetings with organisers but was unable to tell the forum anything that wasn’t already in the public domain.
She admitted a ‘communication plan’ had been prepared, but that she did not when businesses would be formally notified.
However, she was warned by the panel there would be a point at which it would be ‘too late’ to let them know about plans without it negatively affecting their trade.
Cllr Rayner added: “We might 100 per cent support the officers, but as an elected member I’m here to represent the people of Windsor.
“There’s not much point in having a tourist board if we’re not consulted on a major event.”
Kensington Palace refused a request for comment.
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