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Rutland County Council says it was not made aware of plans for Light and Life festival at Rutland Showground as plans are underway to potentially shut event

Rutland County Council states it was not made aware of plans for an event, which has caused serious disruption across the area.

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 a Christian festival.

The outdoor event is using a set of fields of about 45 acres to host about 1,500 adults and children in their own motor homes and caravans.

Coun Oliver Hemsley (47347862)
Coun Oliver Hemsley (47347862)

However, the festival has sparked concerns from business owners and residents following a spate of crime across the county.

Coun Oliver Hemsley, leader of Rutland County Council, said: "It has been a challenging weekend for many of the county’s residents and businesses, and I would like to thank all residents for your support and patience.

"Rutland County Council was not made aware of this event as no event application was submitted in advance.

"Our standard event procedures require for event organisers to submit an event application and risk statements, which enable partners to review to ensure all aspects of an event – from health and safety, including compliance with Covid-19 regulations through to traffic management – are compliant.

"Unfortunately, without prior notification, the council and its partners were unable to do this.

"We have been working closely with partners, especially the police, to manage and respond to the immediate issues arising from this event, including putting in place increased patrols across our community."

In a statement issued by the Rutland Agricultural Society, chief executive Kevin Tighe and chairman David Wood alleged that they required the event organisers to produce an event risk assessment and submit an event notification to the council.

Coun Hemsley said that plans are underway to ensure minimal disruption to the community at key points in the event, for example the event closing.

He added: "There is ongoing communication with the event organiser. We have reviewed their event procedures and documentation and will be making relevant recommendations to improve the running of this event to protect attendees and the wider community.

"Additionally, we are looking to increase the numbers and presence of our Covid-19 Marshals in our towns, offering PPE to the event organisers to distribute amongst participants and providing PPE to key shops.

"I truly understand the concern that the events of this weekend have brought to the county and want to assure you that the Council and its partners are doing all we can to protect you."

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