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

Supplementary Memorandum by The Showmen's Guild of Great Britain Scottish Section (TF 14(a))


  Following the meeting with the Sub-committee on Wednesday 19 April at Kirkcaldy, the Committee have asked me to put forward the following points:

1.   Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982—Section 41

  Most Local Authorities implement licensing for fairgrounds. The fee for this varies from £20 in Clackmannanshire to almost £500 in Edinburgh City Council no matter the size of the fair. Why is there such a vast difference? There is no flexibility to allow for changes to the scale plan which has to be submitted. Also the time factor required to submit any application varies from Council to Council and is not within a reasonable time.

2.   Permanent Parking Sites and Showmen's Depot

  If there were more permanent sites our children would be more settled, this in turn, would help with their education which would be more consistent.

  In Holland there are designated Showmen's depots to allow for repairs to be carried out.

  Councils in and outwith Glasgow should be more sympathetic to the needs of Showmen and consider the business which is generated in their local area on the arrival of the fairground and when parking for the winter months.

3.   Sites Lost Over the Years

  Examples which come to mind, I am sure there are many more, are: Dumbarton, two fairs which involved four weeks business; Crieff—two weeks; Hamilton, two fairs—six weeks; Wishaw, two fairs—four weeks; Saltcoats summer fair and various parks within the City of Glasgow.

  The trend with Councils seems to be more and more against fairgrounds. They do not seem to encourage new fairs to open up.

4.   Rents

  We feel it is only a matter of time before Councils start asking for big rents. For example, at Kirkcaldy we pay £37,170. This year we have been told we must also pay for police overtime costs which have been estimated for the year 2000 at £11,000.

  Our type of entertainment is one of the few, in this day and age, which families can enjoy and participate in if they wish. It would be sad to see this lost.

Mrs Jane Rodgers


May 2000

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