Event cancelled

SIR - With great regret the Westward Ho! Family Fest committee has decided to cancel the proposed 2011 three-day festival which was to have been held on July 1-3.

This was a very hard decision to make as the whole committee is passionate about promoting Westward Ho! and at the same time raise funds for our nominated charity, Children’s Holiday Foundation North Devon.

Right from the start of our planning process, the festival was to be centred on the Westward Ho! village green.

This is the natural place to hold such an event and we had been assured that the improvements to the green would be completed long before our proposed event.

However, the green improvements start and completion dates kept slipping and work has only just started, many weeks after we were first promised work would commence.

Although we are assured that the village green will be completed just before our event dates, significant damage could be done to the newly finished lawn and the newly planted garden areas if an event was immediately held on or adjacent to it, including the promenade or surrounding newly paved areas where people would naturally encroach onto the green.

We have been informed that our Group will be liable for any damage caused by our event and this was simply a risk we could not take. We have only recently been advised that we could not have any vehicles, performance stage, tents or marquees on the green and we were restricted to what could go on the adjoining new performance area and pavements. This severely impacted upon what we had planned to put on and indeed we could not be certain what areas would actually be available to use until very close to the proposed event date.

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Westward Ho! has waited a long time for the village green improvements and we did not feel it fair to put the newly completed works at risk of damage. New turf and plants take a while to establish and we could not risk spoiling what should be a tremendous boost to the centre of the village for the summer season.

The committee is currently considering the feasibility of organising another event on different dates but, in the meantime, would like to thank all those people and supporters who had given their time and support for this festival.

ROBERT BRADDICK,Chairperson

Westward Ho! Family Fest

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