2nd Jul, 2022

The Specials star hits out at Coventry council 'arrogance' over funfair protests

Felix Nobes 20th Jun, 2019 Updated: 23rd Jun, 2019

A MEMBER of Coventry’s most famous band has hit out at the council’s ‘arrogance’ after approving funfair plans in a protected park.

Horace Panter is the bassist for the city’s 2-Tone legends The Specials and has lambasted Coventry City Council on Twitter over its decision.

Joining him, other angry residents have continued to vent their frustration on social media after deputy leader of the council, Abdul Khan, gave the funfair at Stoke Green Park, off Binley Road, the green light.

Plans were approved at a special meeting yesterday (June 18) that was called to consider petitions signed by nearly 400 people in opposition.

Mr Panter: “Such arrogance on the part of Coventry City Council… people from across the city ARE free to use the facilities in this park, many paid for by local residents.

“This feels like they’re inflicting a decision.

“Shame on Coventry City Council for telling local residents that the £160,000 they have raised to improve local amenities and park is ‘NOTHING REMARKABLE’.

“They will raise a mere £500 by renting said park for a four-day full-on funfair.

“It is going to cost more than £500 to clean up. Each one of those new trees cost £450 and they’ll probably all get ruined!

“Not to mention pollution, lack of parking etc.

“We have very active local community who raised funds for playground/park only for Coventry City Council to trample all over it, literally and metaphorically.

“Kick in the teeth for all volunteers and fundraisers!”

Coun Khan’s (Labour) decision came after hearing impassioned pleas from residents who argued that a funfair would be inappropriate at the park, which would be ‘torn to shreds’.

As he announced his decision there were shouts of ‘disgrace’ from residents.

And Labour councillor Pervez Akhtar, who had accused residents of trying to stop people having fun, continued a loud argument with some of them outside the meeting room.

Plans were approved despite residents’ fears over noise, litter, parking and damage to the well-used park – which is situated in a conservation area.

The fair will run from June 27 to 30, from 5 to 9pm of the Thursday and Friday, from 2 to 9pm on the Saturday, and from 1pm to 7pm on the Sunday. But the setting up will be from Monday, June 24, and the equipment will be dismantled on July 1.

Tommy Wilson, of Tommy Wilson’s Funfairs, said: “ “The residents’ fears are unjustified about the noise pollution, groups or gangs hanging about and damage to the ground.

“I’ve been putting on fairs in the city for more than 30 years, and we’ve never had any issues with violence, with noise – I can’t remember environmental health officers ever coming down and telling us to keep the noise down.

“But if the council come to me with a justifiable bill for damage, I will pay for it and put it right.”

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