Sunday, October 25, 2020

Lincolnshire fair extension request turned down

A request to extend the Mid-Lent Fairs in Grantham and Stamford has been turned down by South Kesteven District Council following consultation with residents and businesses.

That means the 2019 fairs will run over the same format as previous years and will be from Monday 1 April to Saturday 6 April in Stamford and Sunday 7 April to Wednesday 10 April in Grantham.

The Showmen’s Guild had asked for next year’s Stamford fair to run from April 1 until Sunday 7 April and the Grantham fair to open from Wednesday 10 April until Sunday 14 April.

The results of a four-week public consultation carried out by the council was instrumental in the decision not to support an extension to the fairs.

SKDC’s Cabinet Member for Town Centres and Visitor Economy, Cllr Nick Robins, said: “We consulted with residents and businesses directly affected by the fairs and listened to what they had to say.

“The majority of respondents did not support the proposal to extend the Mid-Lent Fairs. The main reasons were the potential impact on trade – specifically accessibility and deliveries – noise and traffic congestion.”

Cllr Robins said talks had taken place with the Showmen’s Guild about the consultation findings.

“We advised that we were declining their request following a negative response to the consultation.  We also advised that Lincolnshire County Council Highways had strongly objected to any increase in the duration of road closures.”

In Grantham there were more than 300 responses to the public consultation, of which 178 (59.1%) were against extending the fair dates next year and 98 (32.6%) were in favour. Only six businesses were in favour, with 35 against.

Grantham Police said: “We do not police this event at present. We do direct PCSOs to it but only during regular patrol and commitments permitting.

“The Saturday night-time economy in Grantham will spill into this so if the proposal goes ahead I would advise that we need to insist on more security for the Saturday night as we really do not have the staff to police it.”

Lincolnshire County Council objected to the extension of the fairs in both towns on highways grounds.

It said: “When reaching this conclusion we took into account the views of the locally elected member/Executive Councillor for Highways, to ascertain if there is likely to be local assent to the proposals.

“It was their opinion that on a local level there would be no support for extending the length of the Charter Fairs due to the additional disruption it would cause to the highway network and to members of the travelling public.”

In Stamford there were 223 responses, with 119 (53.4%) against extending the fair and 90 (40.3%) in favour. Five businesses were in favour and 22 objected.

Stamford Police said: “From a crime and disorder perspective, there is very little anti-social behaviour or crime that takes place throughout the fair period currently and there is no police officer presence assigned for it.”

Cllr Robins said: “Just over half of respondents, along with the county council, did not support the proposal to extend the Mid-Lent Fair in Stamford.

“The main reasons were because of the impact it would have on parking, the disruption it causes in the town and the effect it has on trade.”

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