Colne funfair confusion sparks apology from councillors

colne
colne

An apology is being sent out to residents following a council confusion over funfair plans for this year’s Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival.

In April, Pendle Council’s Colne Area Committee decided to grant £6,200 to the popular August bank holiday event.

During discussions, it was agreed that Colne residents, who had previously experienced bouts of anti-social behaviour, were to be consulted over proposals to house a smaller funfair on the Dockray Street car park between 2pm and 5pm.

However, at the latest committee meeting, councillors were left shocked to discover that a letter had been sent out to those living in High Street, Windy Bank, Buck Street, and King Street notifying them of the funfair, and stating a closing time of 8pm. They were shown the letter by High Street resident Jean Jarvis.

Speaking at the meeting, Coun. Tony Greaves said: “I am appalled by this—this is not what I understood.The proposal that was going to be put forward was that the fair would be between 12pm and 5pm, not 8pm.

“We were clear that residents had to be consulted.”

Coun. Kerrigan added: “I think it is disgusting — this is not consultation.

“I am against giving people the opportunity of resorting to that behaviour again.”

And Coun. Margaret Foxley added: “I agree with Coun. Greaves. I did propose having a smaller fair for families to attend, that closed at 5pm.

“There is a huge concern of the fair going late into the evening. If it closed at 5pm, it wouldn’t disturb anybody.”

As well as showing councillors the notification letter, Mrs Jarvis also spoke out about general fears of having a funfair at all.

She said that residents had objected to the attraction, and acoustic stage , following experiences of vandalism, noise and anti-social behaviour.

Mrs Jarvis said: “We could not open our doors and windows, and we suffered people urinating in front of our sitting room windows.”

Responding to the complaints after the meeting, Coun. Graham Waugh, Chairman of Colne Area Committee, said:“As a committee, we have apologised to Mrs Jarvis for the letter that she received.

“Together with the town centres officer, we are now writing to residents in High Street, Windy Bank, Buck Street, and King Street reiterating that apology and opening the consultation with them.

“We’re keen to find out if they would be agreeable to us allowing a smaller fun fair on Dockray Street car park between 2pm and 5pm and aimed at families with young children.”

Residents have a couple of weeks to make their views known. For more information contact town centres officer Paul Collins on 01282 661677 or email paul.collins@pendle.gov.uk.