Impact of festive fayre assessed

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COUNCILLORS are assessing the impact on the town of the Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s overview and scrutiny committee was due to meet with a number of organisations yesterday to determine the effects of the ever-growing festive event.

Issues such as traffic management, parking, the size of the fayre and the impact on local businesses were expected to be flagged up during the meeting.

Those invited included representatives from Bury Chamber of Commerce, Bid4Bury, West Suffolk College, the Theatre Royal and St Edmundsbury Cathedral.

In preparation for the meeting, Ruth Brady, chamber of commerce manager, canvassed about 200 people via email for their thoughts on the fayre.

Ms Brady said: “As time has gone by it has expanded to include more of the town. There are issues with regards to parking and traffic management because there are road closures. We know it’s affecting local buisnesses.

“Some of them are doing absolutely great out of it but others say they are not getting the normal regular customers.

“I’ve been trying to find out whether people are staying away and why.

“The council is aware of these issues and wants to look at it to see how it can be better managed for the benefit of residents and businesses who are here throughout the year.”

A council spokeswoman added: “ The 2011 Christmas Fayre was a great success and the overview and scrutiny committee is undertaking some work to see what implications this has for the town.

“The outcome of this work will be reported to the overview and scrutiny committee on April 18.”