‘Frus­tra­tion’ over Elvis Fes­ti­val stalls

Glamorgan Gazette - - News - KATIE SANDS katie.sands@waleson­line.co.uk

OR­GAN­IS­ERS of the Elvis Fes­ti­val in Porth­cawl will have to wait un­til the week be­fore the event be­gins to find out if it can sell food and mer­chan­dise.

This year’s fes­ti­val takes place from Fri­day, Septem­ber 22, to Sun­day, Septem­ber 24.

Ev­ery Septem­ber thou­sands of Elvis fans de­scend on the Welsh sea­side town for a unique cel­e­bra­tion of The King, bring­ing with them their blue suede shoes, Ve­gas jump­suits and best fancy dress out­fits.

Ef­forts had been made by or­gan­is­ers to try and make the fes­ti­val more fam­ily-friendly by of­fer­ing food stalls and a fam­ily area.

But they will have to wait un­til Thurs­day to find out if they will be granted a li­cence for street trad­ing.

Plans to sell food and mer­chan­dise are un­der threat af­ter Brid­gend coun­cil’s high­ways of­fi­cials ob­jected to the pro­posal.

A re­port is due to go be­fore Brid­gend coun­cil’s li­cens­ing sub-com­mit­tee on Thurs­day, Septem­ber 14, over an ap­pli­ca­tion for a grant of street trad­ing con­sent.

The pur­pose of the re­port, from cor­po­rate di­rec­tor of op­er­a­tional and part­ner­ship ser­vices An­drew Jol­ley, is to de­ter­mine an ap­pli­ca­tion for the grant of a street trad­ing con­sent for the fam­ily zone, on The Es­planade, for “Elvis” mer­chan­dise and for food out­lets in John Street and on The Es­planade.

The ap­pli­ca­tion has been sub­mit­ted by Porth­cawl Elvis Fes­ti­val Ltd, which has been re­ferred to the sub-com­mit­tee due to ob­jec­tions be­ing raised by the high­way au­thor­ity.

The re­port says: “The Man­ager of the High­ways Net­work, Brid­gend County Bor­ough Coun­cil raised ini­tial con­cerns about grant­ing the or­gan­is­ers per­mis­sion to trade on the high­way.

“The lack of such per­mis­sion would mean that any street trad­ing con­sent, if granted, could not take ef­fect.

“A num­ber of meet­ings have been held and cor­re­spon­dence ex­changed on the lo­gis­tics and or­gan­i­sa­tion of the Fes­ti­val, in­clud­ing the Coun­cil’s Events Safety Ad­vi­sory Group.

“How­ever, the ob­jec­tion to trad­ing on the high­way has not been with­drawn.”

Fes­ti­val or­gan­iser Peter Phillips said: “It’s more frus­trat­ing than stress­ful. I’m dis­ap­pointed by the de­ci­sion taken by the high­ways de­part­ment.”

The re­port does not give a rec­om­men­da­tion to the com­mit­tee, but lists two op­tions avail­able to the sub-com­mit­tee.

They are to ei­ther grant the con­sent sub­ject to the stan­dard con­di­tions and any other con­di­tions the sub-com­mit­tee deems rea­son­ably nec­es­sary, or refuse the ap­pli­ca­tion.

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