Flora Day attracts thousands of people who come to see the various dances, enjoy the hospitality and visit the fair. Therefore, Helston Town Council’s decision not to close the Porthleven Road for Flora Day is madness and I believe, puts the public at risk. Imagine buses, lorries and other vehicles trying to navigate the huge crowds including many children? It will not end well.
In highlighting my concerns as the Cornwall Councillor which covers this area, I recently sent a letter to Helston Town Council asking for them to reconsider. The letter is as follows:
Road Closure for Flora Day 2017 on the Porthleven Road
Thank you for your response to my email questioning the reasoning as to why there will be no road closure in place on the Porthleven Road for Flora Day 2017.
I do not agree with the logic of a lack of stalls for not progressing with a road closure. For me, this road closure is paramount for public safety due to the sheer numbers of people attending Flora Day. Without this road closure pedestrians will be put at risk.
As the Divisional Member for this area, I feel I must try and find a solution to this impasse we find ourselves in. Therefore, I have been liaising with Streetworks and Highways at Cornwall Council and the management of the fair operator to find a way forward.
I can confirm that by adding this road to the road closure application for Flora Day 2017 it would not cost Helston Town Council or the Flora Day committee any further fee. All that would be required is adequate signage and marshals to operate this additional road closure. The latter would be of minimal costs to the Town Council and I believe it would be cheaper than erecting fencing along Porthleven Rd. Furthermore, and this is the most important part, it keeps the public safe.
In your email you mention that Cornwall Council should pay for this road closure because Cornwall Council gets a fee for allowing the use of the Fairground car park for the Fair. The fee charged by Cornwall Council is £1900 and goes directly to Parking Services. I have asked Parking Services for a contribution, but they are unable to do this as the fee from the Fair is used to help with the running costs of this car park – which is circa £6000 per year. I might add the £1900 helps to keep this car park free.
Furthermore, I have contacted the fair operators to see if they would be able to contribute by helping to pay for any barriers and/or marshals for operating the Porthleven Rd closure. This request is being discussed by the fair management; I am hopeful of a positive outcome.
In light of the information I have provided, I request that Helston Town Council reconsiders its decision and proceeds with a road closure for the Porthleven Road for Flora Day 2017.
I look forward to hearing from you in due course
I also raised this issue at the recent Helston Town Council meeting and was pleased there could be a way forward after the Mayor of Helston Gillian Geer, said the town council will be re-looking into this issue in November. Lets hope common sense prevails and this road is closed for Flora Day.