By Emily Stott
Two leading lights in the Deal Festival of Music have resigned.
Chairman Tim Jackaman and artistic director Matthew Sharp have quit the festival, one of the top events of its kind in the South East, for different reasons.
In an open letter to the Mercury, Mr Sharp explained that he left with a heavy heart.
He says: “It was an extremely tough yet necessary decision.
“Important issues and disagreements around transparency, artistic leadership and the core values of art and community remain unresolved.”
Mr Jackaman, who will work for the festival until the end of the year, said he does not agree with these comments and has his own reasons for resigning.
He said: “There are no issues left unresolved. The festival is in good shape with lots of ideas flying around for next year so it will be great.
“The only issues or challenges has been funding, it’s the fact that Deal doesn’t have an enormous business community so less opportunities for sponsorship, it’s difficult but we have done really well with funding over the last few years.”
Mr Jackaman explained that the first he knew of any issues was on reading Mr Sharp’s letter.
He said: “I didn’t know Matt felt this way and I can’t do anything about it now.”
Mr Jackaman explained that after three years in the voluntary position he felt it was time to move on and focus his energy on his home life.
He added: “When I moved to Deal and I was asked to do this I was really flattered and thought it would be lovely and I really have loved every minute.”
* To read the full letter from Matthew Sharp see page 14 of the East Kent Mercury, November 21.