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Rutland County Council answer questions regarding Light and Life festival at Rutland Showground in Oakham

Rutland County Council has answered questions regarding the clean up of a religious festival and whether it will be allowed to take place again.

Thousands of travellers descended on Oakham on Saturday (June 19) for an event, which is running until tomorrow.

The Rutland Agricultural Society, which owns the Rutland Showground, accepted a booking for its site on the edge of Oakham from St Hilda’s Church, Darlington to run the festival of Light and Life.

GV of the Rutland Showground
GV of the Rutland Showground

However, trouble struck the town as a minority of attendees reportedly took part in intimidation, looting, drag racing and breaching covid regulations.

Following this, many residents in the area have been asking how an event of this scale was permitted to go ahead.

While the event was legal and didn't breach covid restrictions, the council says that it was not made aware of the festival as no event application was submitted in advance.

The council is unclear as to why they weren't provided with an event notification, which is the responsibility of the event organiser, in advance.

A spokesman for the council said: "Without the council and partners having had the opportunity to review the event documentation and risk assessments in advance, we are unable to make a judgement on whether we would have stopped the event from taking place.

"Having reviewed some documentation we would have, at the very least, requested several changes to the plans.

"The event was already underway when we found out about it.

"Having engaged with multi-agency partners it was agreed that allowing the event to continue through to its planned departure date on Friday, means partners can develop and put in place plans to enable the safe departure of all attendees, minimising impact on our roads and infrastructure, ensuring event attendees move on to their next destination, whether home or another event, without delay."

The council is in discussions with the Rutland Showground and the event organisers regarding who will pay the bill for the clean up.

Asked if there will be anything restricting the showground from holding the event again in the future, the spokesman said: "Event organisers are required to submit an event notification and relevant documentation in advance of the event taking place.

"Each event is therefore assessed according to the information provided."

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