Fears mount over Topsham Carnival's future
PUBLISHED: 14:46 17 June 2010 | UPDATED: 11:36 18 June 2010
THE SECRETARY of the Topsham town fayre committee fears this year s carnival procession could be the last. Kevin Hack, of Powderham Close, said a lack of people on the committee to help with its organisation, time constraints, and the bureaucratic process
THE SECRETARY of the Topsham town fayre committee fears this year's carnival procession could be the last.
Kevin Hack, of Powderham Close, said a lack of people on the committee to help with its organisation, time constraints, and the bureaucratic process in setting it up, could result in the popular feature being dropped.
The current committee members are worried about the new highways legislation and how it impacts on necessary road closures and an increase in policing costs.
Mr Hack said: "It could quite possibly be the last carnival procession. The work involved with setting up road closures is becoming rather onerous."
Proceeds from the many events which take place during town fayre week are donated to charities but rising costs for such outgoings could result in less money being donated to good causes.
Mr Hack would like new young members to join the committee to give help with the organisation of the fayre and carnival and to offer fresh ideas and concepts.
But, without their help, he is worried the carnival will have to stop.
He said: "The requirements that are now being put on us are becoming very time consuming. The committee really needs some new blood."
Mary Evans, of Victoria Road, a former town councillor, said she was also saddened to hear the carnival procession could finish.
"It has been going since World War II. It is such a shame that there are not people in Topsham who will help for one month in the year.
"It's all due to bureaucracy of the police asking for so much money to police it and Devon County Council's charges for road closures.
"If you have to pay all this money then there is not going to be hardly anything left to be donated to charities who are the benefactors of most of the events that take place."
Rob Newby, Topsham ward councillor for Exeter City Council, used to sit on the town fayre committee.
He said: "I know myself that organising the fayre and carnival can be time consuming.
"Kevin and Shirley (Hack) have worked tirelessly on this for years. It is hard work - there is no two ways about it.
"The committee can only do so much with limited personnel. I do believe it could do with some new blood, with new ideas and concepts.
"I would hate to see the loss of the carnival procession. These type of things are very much popular British traditions.
"People look forward to the week-long fayre culminating with the carnival. I am saddened by news of a possible loss to the procession but the committee will know I would support them 100 per cent.