Fair operator calls on city to stage event

The fun fair when it was on Ripon market square. (S)
The fun fair when it was on Ripon market square. (S)

A fun fair operator is calling on Ripon families to support him in his bid to get his annual four-day spring bank holiday event staged once again in the city.

Stewart Robinson ran the event in the city for more than 40 years up to 2011 but has not been able to secure a pitch either on the square or at other sites in the city for the following three years including at the end of this month, for which Mr Robinson had proposed setting up on Camp Close next to the leisure centre.

“It is such a shame as the fair really does prove popular,” he said.

“My fair consists of just two large rides, the Dodgem and the Twist, as well as five kids’ rides, a hook-a-duck stall and an inflatable slide. We only take over one section of the market square and there has always been plenty of space for the market.

“We do not cater for the teenagers and we have never caused a mess or had any complaints at our fair.”

Mr Robinson said it had been agreed he would hold his fair on Victoria Grove car park last year but permission was withdrawn, and he has been unsuccessful lobbying for the Camp Close site in 2014.

A spokesman for Harrogate Borough Council, which licenses such events, said: “The original decision to withdraw the consent to hold fairs on Ripon’s Market Place was taken in response to safety concerns and representations made by Ripon City Council and local traders.

“Efforts have since been made to identify alternative locations for the fair. Proposals were drawn up to trial the fair in Victoria Grove car park to the rear of Sainsbury’s, but this was not pursued due to strong objections from traders.

“Mr Robinson’s suggestion to locate the fair on Camp Close, behind Ripon Leisure Centre, was carefully considered. However this, just like the earlier proposal, failed to attract support.

“Ripon City Council met on April 14 and members unanimously voted against having the fair at Camp Close due to concerns about noise levels and the disturbance caused by the fair to the local residents, the lack of parking and toilet facilities, and the absence of security measures such as CCTV.”