Exmouth Carnival future uncertain after cancellation and lack of volunteers

PUBLISHED: 09:41 19 September 2018 | UPDATED: 09:41 19 September 2018

Exmouth Carnival 2017. Picture: Matt Round

Exmouth Carnival 2017. Picture: Matt Round

©2017 Matt Round Photography

This year’s event has been cancelled and a lack of volunteers has sparked concerns for next year.

Exmouth Carnival 2017. Picture: Matt RoundExmouth Carnival 2017. Picture: Matt Round

Concerns for the future of Exmouth Carnival are mounting after this year’s event was cancelled and organisers say there were not enough volunteers.

Exmouth Carnival was scheduled to take place on Saturday, October 13, but the event has now been cancelled.

The usual route for the carnival was ruled out by Devon County Council due to water works due to take place on Pound Lane, with traffic being diverted along the usual carnival route.

Exmouth Carnival chairman, Paul Wollen, blamed himself and the county council for the last minute cancellation.

“Basically I messed up and the council messed up,” said Paul.

“I messed up the traffic plan although I was sure I had got it right. The council knew about the road closure on Pound Lane for months but didn’t tell us until it was too late.

“If we had known earlier we would have found a different route for the carnival.

“It takes a lot of work to put on a carnival and if you make one mistake it all falls down. I did suggest two or three alternatives but it was too late.

“We were also severely lacking volunteers, we needed 30 marshals for the carnival as well as help organising the event.

“If we don’t get volunteers in the future I am really worried the town will lose its carnival for good.”

Councillor Stuart Hughes, the county council’s cabinet member for Highway Management, said he was disappointed Exmouth Carnival will not take place as planned and he hopes earlier planning next year will prevent another cancellation.

Councillor Hughes said: “Unfortunately, the works in Pound Lane were planned before the date of the carnival had been decided and shared with the relevant authorities, including the county council, and the last information we received from the carnival organiser was that there were not enough volunteers in place to enable the carnival to go ahead safely.”

Carnival organisers are keen to point out that despite the carnival being cancelled a Fun Day planned for October 13 will go ahead as planned.

Locals are encouraged to go along to the Strand between 9am and 5pm in fancy dress to enjoy live music, games and street food.

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