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

Memorandum by The Showmen's Guild of Great Britain, Yorkshire Section (TF 15)

1.   The continued value of historic travelling fairs.

  Funfairs provide unique entertainment, they are part of the English heritage and it is not only important to the Showmen to see that these fairs continue but also the general public.

2.   The Provision of sites for travelling fairs.

  Some local authorities do not take into account the needs of the Showmen when a traditional fairground site is lost to redevelopment, they do not appreciate that the Showmen need an alternative site, preferably one that is hard standing and has the necessary services.

3.   The particular needs of travelling Showpeople in carrying out their trade.

  Showmen need a secure base where they can park their trailers and equipment. Through the closed season they maintain and repair their equipment in accordance with H&SE requirements.

4.   The effectiveness of existing planning guidance on the provisions of quarters for travelling Showpeople.

  Planning permission is never straightforward as far as the Showmen are concerned. Their planning applications become a political issue and the local authorities ignore Circular 22/91. This document needs to be reviewed and brought up to date.

5.   Whether any action is necessary to ensure that appropriate regard etc.

  Local authorities should be made aware of the special needs of travelling Showmen within the planning system.

February 2000

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