A leading South Lakes councillor is seeking people’s views on the idea of levying a charge on Appleby Horse Fairgoers to offset the cost to the county’s public services from managing the event each year.
The latest multi-agency evaluation report on this year’s Horse Fare shows that the cost to Cumbrian councils, health services, police and other agencies was over £213,000. This included £81,000 in policing costs alone.
Councillor James Airey, the Conservative group leader on Cumbria County Council, has received regular complaints from people about the cost of managing the Fair and wants to find out what residents think about the idea of a charge.
Councillor James Airey said: “This year many people I have spoken to in areas affected by the Appleby Horse Fair have mentioned the idea of a charge to enable its costs to be met by Fairgoers and the money, which public services spend each year, to be redirected to the benefit of local communities.
“It’s currently the case that music festivals and other large outdoor events pay a charge towards policing, council and other services but the Appleby Horse Fair is paid for entirely out the local public purse. As just one example, a charge could help to ensure policing around the event can be increased when necessary and reimbursed to the county.
“The Horse Fair is part of our county’s cultural heritage and levying a charge would bring practical challenges. That is why I am keen to hear from people what their views on a charge are and how they would like to see it work.”
To take part in the Appleby Horse Fair survey, visit: https://www.westmorlandconservatives.org.uk/form/appleby-horse-fair-charge-have-y