Further to your excellent coverage of the ongoing saga around the Riverside festival, I have found myself wondering if the town council requires other charitable or commercial groups which use The Meadows to provide verified, audited accounts before any confirmation is given in respect of the use of any land owned by the town council?
I suspect (though have not been able to verify this despite some prolonged trawling through the council website) that other equally excellent community events run by volunteer, charitable (and commercial) organisations on The Meadows such as the car show, pet show, history re-enactments, Mid-Lent fair, antiques fair etc … do not have to provide verified, audited accounts.
Perhaps the town council would confirm if this is, or is not the case? And why it does, or does not, require verified audited accounts from these organisations?
Some of these events (including the Mid-Lent and autumn fairs) leave The Meadows and Recreation Ground in a far worse state of repair in terms of mud and ruts than the Riverside festival has ever done.
Indeed the ruts from the history re-enactors’ campsite are still present on the adjacent Freeman’s meadow.
The litter resulting from Riverside on The Meadows is effectively and promptly dealt with by the organisers as soon as the event has finished, and I would contend that The Meadows are in a better state after this event than after most other days of the summer when litter blights The Meadows and its environs.
I would also contend that the town is unfortunately in an equally dishevelled state after almost any busy Saturday night but this state of affairs is tolerated and quickly rectified.
Disruption caused by Riverside is minimal when compared with disruption caused by the week-long Mid- Lent fair when most of the town’s parking is occupied, parts of the town smell of diesel fumes and fried food and the best green space in the town is unusable for the best part of two weeks while the fair rides are assembled, used, and then dismantled.
I would urge the town council to reconsider its unreasonable request for verified audit accounts. I do not want to see any of these great events disappear from our town, and I look forward to all of them continuing.