CALLS to scrap the role of Dunbar’s Civic Week Queen because it is “elitist” have been dismissed as “nonsense”.

A Civic Week Queen has been crowned each year since the event was formed in 1970.

But Stephen Bunyan, chairman of the town’s community council and heavily involved in organising the annual tradition, told the Courier it had been suggested to him the role was outdated and should be ditched.

He said: “I have no idea who it was but more than one person has suggested the Civic Week Queen role is elitist and creates a situation where one has risen high above her friends.

“This I consider to be arrant nonsense.”

The role of queen is picked at random after names are put in a hat - children not wanting to take part can opt out.

Eleven-year-old Connie Paxton was crowned this year’s Civic Week Queen in June, with older sister Rhian named Dunbar Lifeboat Queen the following month.

Their mum Michelle Smith, said Connie had thoroughly enjoyed being the town’s Civic Week Queen.

She said: “She loved it and I think it would be a shame if they did that [scrapped the role].

“During Civic Week she did a lot of things and really enjoyed it. It was a really proud moment – not just for her but her whole family.

“It is quite an honour to represent your community.”

The future of Dunbar Civic Week had been cast into doubt after Sue Anderson, the event’s co-ordinator, stepped down following this summer’s event.

Mrs Anderson was heavily involved with the event from 2012 but wanted to spend more time with her family.

The community council had called for members of the public to come forward to ensure Civic Week continued towards its 50th year.

But members were disappointed with the lack of response, with community councillors George Robertson and Alasdair Swan agreeing to work with Mr Bunyan to keep it going for 2018 at least.

The community council had considered approaching an external group to organise the event.

However, after consulting two different potential organisers, neither were able to take on the role of putting together a programme for Civic Week.

An additional problem of paying any potential organiser was also discussed, with it decided that Mr Swan and Mr Robertson would be in charge for 2018, with a view to reviewing the situation in the future.

A meeting had been called at the beginning of this year in a bid to try to drum up potential volunteers.

However, that brought only a few members of the public forward.

Mr Bunyan was happy to see the event, which takes place each June, continuing, but warned that if Mr Robertson or Mr Swan pulled out then the event would struggle.

Anyone who is willing to help out should contact the community council.