Group calls on councils to allow funfairs to open

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Future 4 Fairgrounds say some councils are not allowing travelling funfairs

A group of women are campaigning for funfairs to be able to reopen.

Under the government's roadmap, outdoor attractions, including funfairs and fairgrounds, were allowed to open from 12 April.

But Future 4 Fairgrounds, which includes operators from Berkshire and Surrey, said some councils are still blocking travelling funfairs.

They said it comes after a hard year for those who run funfairs, which were forced to close due to Covid-19.

Under current rules single households, a group of six people, or two households are allowed to visit funfairs - which are not subject to a capacity cap, although the government expects these events to have fewer than 4,0000 attendees per day.

Despite this Future 4 Fairgrounds said fairs with all the mitigation measures and risk assessments are still being refused permission to open by some councils.

Image caption,
Fair owners allowed to open have brought in measures for attendees to be safe

Joannie Peak, of Shayler's Family Fun Fair, explained: "A lot of councils are putting the funfairs with events. Funfairs are not events.

"We're small family businesses attracting people from the village.

"We're not a big theme park that's attracting people from all over England."

This month Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick wrote to councils to "cut red tape" for outdoor hospitality.

He said: "I would urge you to show pragmatism and proportionality at all times, doing everything you can to help businesses prosper again."

Bernice Wall, of John Searle Fun Fairs, said: "All we say is give us a chance, let us get out there and let us do our job and create funfairs.

"Especially outdoor fun. If we've learned one thing from the pandemic is that it's healthier to be outdoors."

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