Fair way forward
A request to extend the annual Ilkeston Charter Fair by one day, allowing rides and stalls to open on the Sunday of fair week, is to be discussed by Erewash borough councillors.
Members of Council Executive meet on Tuesday (4th September) to decide if a required consultation should take place on the proposal, which has been put forward by The Showman’s Guild.
This year’s Fair will run as usual from Wednesday 17 October from 6pm-11pm, then Thursday, Friday and Saturday 12noon-11pm. The Showman’s Guild claims a number of fairs across the country have extended operating days to Sundays and they would like to see this happen in Ilkeston.
However, a report going to Council Executive confirms that the historic nature of Ilkeston Fair and the granting of the royal Charter in 1252 means there is a legal process that has to be followed – the council cannot decide to simply add an additional day to the Charter Fair.
Councillors will hear how a failure by the council to follow this process and obtain the required order from the Home Secretary to extend the fair by one day could result in the historic Charter being repealed and taken away from the town.
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
“The granting of the Charter for Ilkeston Fair is a piece of history, something which makes the annual fair so very special – including the reading of the original Charter at the ceremonial opening of this traditional street fair. There is a legal path laid down for any request to extend the opening days and this must be followed - we cannot put the Charter at risk.
“However, before we take any steps to obtain the necessary order from the Home Secretary we need to look first at carrying out a full consultation – which is also a legal requirement – to establish views on this proposal.”
If councillors decide to go ahead with consultation, the results of that will then be taken to a future Council Executive meeting for consideration.
The meeting of Council Executive is at Long Eaton Town Hall on Tuesday 4 September at 10.30am.