Howarth hits out after Strawberry Fair cancelled

March 22, 2010 9:40 AM

David HowarthA decision to cancel Stawberry Fair has left Cambridge MP, David Howarth furious.

He claims the police should not have been allowed to dictate on this issue and it should be left to democratically elected councillors to decide.

"I am extremely saddened by this news," he said. "This is not an issue on which the police should have been allowed to dictate. It should be left to democratically elected councillors to make decisions like these that affect our city, not unelected police officers."

Julie Smith, Cambridge City Executive Councillor for Arts and Recreation said: "Strawberry Fair makes an extremely valuable cultural contribution to Cambridge and it has received overwhelming support over the years.

"I completely understand the organisers' reasons for postponing the event but I am extremely saddened that they have been forced to take this decision.

"All parties agreed that the fair ran more smoothly last year thanks to the hard work from all parties, including Strawberry Committee, various parts of the council, the police and local residents. We hoped to build on those arrangements this year."

Jennifer Liddle, chair of Cambridge City Council's licensing committee said: Jennifer Liddle, chair of Cambridge City Council's licensing committee said: "The licensing committee listened very carefully to all of the evidence presented to it, by the police and by the Strawberry Fair committee.

"They unanimously decided that the new look Strawberry Fair should be granted a licence.

We believed the conditions we imposed on the licence would address issues such as anti-social behaviour and allow people of all ages to enjoy this event once again.

"I think it's a great shame that the police have refused to accept this democratic decision."

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