Proposals for the future working of Lynn’s historic Mart have been backed by councillors after they were warned they would face a “fight” with fair operators to secure wider reform.
The six-year plan for the fair was supported by members of the West Norfolk Council regeneration, environment and community panel, the first council body to consider the scheme, at a meeting on Wednesday.
As previously reported, council officials and representatives of the Showman’s Guild of Great Britain have agreed arrangements for how the fair is to be run until the year 2020.
The review followed the establishment of the Mart task group in the wake of the death of three-year-old Rio Bell during the 2012 event.
Although the traditional February 14 opening date has been retained, the fair will gradually be reduced from 13 to eight operating days over that period. Afternoon opening will also be trialled over the next two years.
The council’s chief executive, Ray Harding, told committee members the agreement was the best compromise that could be reached.
He said: “Really it’s down to members if they are happy to proceed on that basis or do we basically have a fight with the Showmen’s Guild?
“The view of negotiators and the Mart task group was this is a good, workable compromise. Let’s give it a try.”
The recommendations are now set to go before the authority’s ruling cabinet next month, though a final decision will be made later by the full council.