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Safeguards in place for 2009 Folk Festival

March 27, 2009 10:50 AM
Julie Smith

Cllr Julie Smith - determined to ensure the Folk Festival continues

Cambridge Folk Festival is to go-ahead as planned providing the annual four days of entertainment for the city.

The city's Liberal Democrats are determined residents will not be disappointed and have made considerable changes to procedures for staging the festival in the light of the 2008 review.

Lib Dem leader, Cllr Ian Nimmo-Smith said: "We are ensuring that lessons learned from this review are being taken into account fully in planning this year's event."

"Councillors were not consulted or involved in any of the crucial decisions last year and were only informed as officers prepared to initiate legal proceedings against SecureTicket UK.

"We are determined that this situation will never happen again and have overhauled procedures to that effect."

Cambridge City Executive Councillor for Arts and Recreation, Julie Smith said: "Cambridge Folk Festival is a great Cambridge tradition and we intend that this year will be no different.

"Work is in hand to ensure that the 2009 Festival will run as planned. It's really important that everyone gets the message that the Festival will carry on - we mustn't let anyone cast doubt on this highpoint of the summer."

She said of issues raised in the review into last year's festival: "Neither I, nor other members, were engaged in discussions relating to procurement nor contracts for the 2008 festival since these were operational matters dealt with by officers.

"It would have been quite wrong for me to have tried to micromanage the service and it is really important that officers and members know and respect their respective responsibilities."

She added, however, that Cambridge City Council has brought in a consultant now to deal with arts and entertainment procurement and contractual matters, including the 2009 Folk Festival.

Tickets will be sold on-line again this year following a clear and transparent tender process. The festival will take place from July 30 to August 2.