Organisers agree to close fair in Ashington, to support public health measures
13 Sep 2020
Northumberland County Council has welcomed the decision of the organisers of a fair in Ashington after they agreed to close the event earlier than planned, due to concerns about the risks of transmission of COVID-19.
The fair, run by Richardson's Amusements, was being held on Welfare Fields in the town, and opened on Thursday (10 Sept).
The county council approached the organisers on Sunday (13 Sept), after concerns raised by Northumbria Police and local residents that the event may pose a greater risk for transmission of Coronavirus due to the numbers in attendance and the inability of those attending to adhere to social distancing and COVID-19 secure measures.
Northumbria Police had been called to the fair on Saturday evening after reports of a fight, but upon their arrival they were concerned about large crowds at the event.
Officers from Northumberland County Council and Northumbria Police attended the site on Sunday morning following concerns raised about a lack of social distancing and other COVID safe measures not being adhered to. Site organisers agreed immediately to suspend the operation, to support the county's drive to have strict public health measures in place to help halt the spread of coronavirus.
Kelly Angus, Interim Acting Chief Executive at Northumberland County Council, said: "We approached the organisers of the fair this morning, following concerns from the Police and the local community about the risks to public health due to the lack of measures to control the spread of COVID-19.
"The organisers took these concerns on board and agreed to voluntarily close down the event today, which is an extremely positive move on their part.
“We understand that some people will be disappointed that the fair has closed, however, the safety of the county and all of its residents must always be our highest priority, and on this occasion we are pleased that Richardson's Amusements acted responsibly and they should be complimented for their actions at this time.
"The approach was not because of a specific concern about someone with the infection, but about the risks in general.
“It is essential that the county avoids unnecessary risks around the spread of COVID-19 and we look forward to welcoming Richardson's back to the site for their annual funfair for all to enjoy when it is safer to do so."
Northumberland has seen 69 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the last 7 days, compared to 85 for the whole of August.
The fair's organisers had submitted a risk assessment to Northumberland County Council which was in line with the guidance around social distancing, however it could be seen that all of the measures were not being adhered to.