Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 140 - 159)




  140. That is specifically a rebuttal of what is in the evidence to us?
  (Mr Tinker) It is, yes.

  141. That, again, will be very helpful.
  (Mr Tinker) That is in writing.

Mr Cummings

  142. Do you believe that your local Showmen's Guild section is correct when it says that Nottingham Council tried to impose a 22 per cent rise in rental without any consultation? If so, why was this the case? How was the situation finally resolved?
  (Mr Noble) I would not say it was an imposition. The first start of the negotiation was a 22 per cent rise and that was then taken to consultation with the Showmen's Guild and eventually ended up as a three per cent rise on rent.


  143. Pretty big starting point, was it not? Was this to soften them up, a body blow to get the negotiations going?
  (Mr Noble) We were given a directive by members to try and raise a certain amount of income because they did not feel at the time they were getting a fair rent from the site, although after negotiations it came down to a three per cent rise. This year we did a big survey on the fairgrounds to see the numbers coming and also the head spend on the fair. Hopefully those results will help us in the negotiations for this year.

  144. Can you tell us the results?
  (Mr Noble) Not at the moment, they are being looked at at the moment.

  145. How soon do you think you will know?
  (Mr Noble) Hopefully within the next month or two.

  146. If you do get them fairly soon I think the Committee will be very pleased to hear. I think we are interested in how many people turn up to fairs. When you were looking at the spend, was that looking just at the spend on the fair, or was it looking at the spend by people who were coming into Nottingham because of the Goose Fair and their general spending on shops and elsewhere?
  (Mr Noble) No, it was purely looking at what people spend on the fair but also there are side parts of the fair where people around the area will let off their land to people like fortune tellers and hot dog sellers, that sort of thing. We did look also at the spend on those activities as well as within the fairground itself.

  147. You were looking at the income the fair made?
  (Mr Noble) Yes.

  148. You were not looking at the income that Nottingham made as a result of the fair being there?
  (Mr Noble) Not as part of this survey, no.

Mr Cummings

  149. I would like to come back to Bradford and ask how the question of the Christmas fair and the Easter fair is going to be resolved?
  (Mr Tinker) The Easter Fair, you mean the Easter Fair in Lister Park?

  150. Yes, that is the one.
  (Mr Tinker) From Marshalls?

  151. Yes?
  (Mr Tinker) That will be resolved in 2002 where we have already advised Marshall's Amusement that their Easter Fair, should they make application in 2002, which we do not doubt they will, will be given to them but at the moment the Park is undergoing a £3.2 million Heritage Lottery refurbishment. At the moment it is a hard hat area so we have cancelled all events in the park and it just does not apply to the fun fairs.

  152. The Christmas Fair?
  (Mr Tinker) The Christmas Fair, the town centre management have indicated that should they receive an application from Marshall's Amusements they will look at that situation.


  153. Right, now the Park fair, the park is being done up under the lottery heritage fund?
  (Mr Tinker) Yes.

  154. How far in that plan is the foundation work being put into the Park so that it has got better opportunities to work with travelling fairs on the ground for a week or a fortnight and reverting back to attractive green space for the rest of the year quickly? My experience is that there are certain sites that fairs go on to which are poorly drained, although the showmen have to pay to reinstate the sites. If major work is being done it should be possible to make it much easier for them to go on to the site without having to do major reinstatement work.
  (Mr Tinker) The site that they will go back to will remain as it is and always has been. It is an ash area which comes out of the old infirmary boilers from the hospital in the city. It drains very, very well. It is reinstated very quickly. We pay for the reinstatement and the fairs are not expected nor are they asked to do any reinstatement works because there are very rarely any. There are new toilets going into the Park, a new boating lake, new children's play area and the fair sits just at the edge of all these and we think that will enhance the fair as it returns to the city.

  155. The Lottery money being spent on the Park is enhancing the park and is enhancing the tradition of having fairs there?
  (Mr Tinker) We hope so.

Mr Donohoe

  156. Can I just come back to you, Mr Noble, and ask the question as to what the overall rent income is to your authority in a year?
  (Mr Noble) The income purely from Nottingham Goose Fair is around £300,000. For the other fairs that we licence we purely take a licence fee.

  157. You make £300,000 as an income?
  (Mr Noble) No, we do not make £300,000, that is not a surplus, that is purely an income, that is gross income.

  158. Do any of you try to set the rates for the rides in terms of time or fare?
  (Mr Noble) Sorry?

  159. There is a lot of local animosity to the amount of time that the kids get on the individual rides or the fare structure as it is. Do any of your authorities try to set a rate for either time or fare?
  (Mr Lewis) No, it does not occur in Thurrock.
  (Mr Noble) It did in Nottingham until about six or seven years ago. That was taken away in negotiation with the Goose Fair Tenants.

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