Complaints about Kenilworth horse fair drop but concerns over disruption remain - The Leamington Observer

Complaints about Kenilworth horse fair drop but concerns over disruption remain

Leamington Editorial 26th Aug, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016   0

COMPLAINTS about Kenilworth horse fair have reduced ‘considerably’ but townspeople still have major concerns about the disruption caused by the regular event.

Around 20,000 members of the traveller community recently flocked to the town on the weekend of July 30 for the fair – one of the biggest crowds ever.

Travellers began arriving as early as three days before the event, with many setting up camp along the Kenilworth Road where they also tethered their horses.

But Warwick District Council say even though more people are attending the fair – which is held three times a year – and stopping in town for longer, fewer complaints are being made.

A council spokeswoman said: “Complaints about the horse fair have reduced considerably in the past two years.

“The worst was the wet April 2014 event and residents close to the site were in touch with us primarily regarding parking and traffic issues.”

The district council held a meeting with fair organisers and agreed a traffic management plan which saw less congestion around the town at the most recent event.

But Kenilworth town councillor Michael Coker says despite the reduction in traffic most townspeople do not welcome the arrival of the fair.

He told the Observer: “I believe that the horse fair is now one of the most popular horse fairs in England.

“Normally the town and business would welcome such a large number of visitors but unfortunately this is not the case due to the difficulties which we have experienced in the past. Although these have in recent times been reasonably well contained, each visit of the fair is still viewed with concern.”

The most recent event saw police called to a number of incidents including anti-social behaviour and horses tethered in the street.

The RSPCA also say they received two calls from concerned residents but by the time an inspector arrived the horses had been moved on.

Insp Dafydd Goddard of Warwickshire Police said: “Throughout the course of the weekend one minor assault was recorded which was dealt with immediately by officers. There were no other offences of violence recorded.

“Overall, around eight incidents were reported to police that were attributable to persons attending the horse fair. No arrests were made.”

The last horse fair of the year is set to take place over the weekend of September 24 and 25.


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