KING’S LYNN: Council leader backs Mart’s continuation
The leader of West Norfolk Council has confirmed the council’s commitment to continue Lynn Mart.
Nick Daubney says he wants the historic fair to continue in the town as it provides a lot of enjoyment to residents.
The council has come under fire from the Showman’s Guild of Great Britain over plans to cut the length of the fair and end the customary Valentine’s Day opening.
There have also been claims that the council wants to “destroy” the Mart by reducing the length of the fair .
But this has been denied by Mr Daubney.
He said: “We want the Mart to continue and we want it to continue on Tuesday Market Place.
“We work very hard to provide facilities they need to put on a successful event.
“The council supports the Mart being there partly because of the tradition and also it gives a great deal of pleasure from a huge number of people who live and visit Lynn.
“We want to see it continue.”
The Mart Task Group was set up to consider all aspects of the February funfair after three-year-old Rio Bell died in a road accident in King Street near the Tuesday Market Place during last year’s Mart.
In the autumn, the council agreed to reduce the fair’s traditional two weeks to eight or nine days and new safety measures, including extra barriers and road crossing stewards, be introduced.
Guild leaders revealed at last week’s full council meeting that they were considering taking legal action against the council in support of their claim that plans to shorten the fair and end the customary Valentine’s Day opening would breach its charter.
Mr Daubney said he found the situation sad.
He said: “We invited The Mart to play a part in the task group.
“They put in writing that they agreed with proposals and we seem to have got to a late stage where they have threatened litigation.
“The council has offered independent mediation which has not been accepted.”
Chairman of the Guild’s Norwich and Eastern Counties branch John Thurston has welcomed Mr Daubney’s comments.
He said: “I am pleased to hear that.
“Hopefully we can sit around the table after this year’s Mart to discuss our differences.
“The council has made a decision to curtail it for this year and we are not happy about it.
“It is nice to know they are in favour of the fair.”
The guild is hoping to present historical evidence to support their claim.
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Monday 20 May 2013
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