Legal notice served blocking Stow Horse Fayre
A notice was served by the county council on Friday to stop the Stow Horse Fayre from going ahead this week.
Using its powers under Covid-19 regulations, the county council and Gloucestershire Police had jointly served the landowner with a ‘notice of concern’ last Monday, 12 October, giving them 48 hours to address concerns raised by the county council, Police and Cotswold District Council (CDC).
As no further steps were taken to make the event Covid secure, the decision was taken to block the event from going ahead this Thursday so the legal notice was then served.
It follows close partnership working between the county council, Police, CDC and the county’s traveller liaison service in the last few weeks to ensure the necessary evidence and information had been gathered before legal action was taken.
Local police and officers from the county’s gypsy and traveller services will be in the immediate and wider area this week to engage with people who may have still decided to travel. They will be provided with advice and encouraged to move on, but as the notice is a legal document appropriate action will be taken if it is breached.
Sarah Scott, director of public health for Gloucestershire, said: “We carefully considered the rights and views of the travellers, local community and the landowner when coming to this decision. Taking legal action is not something we do lightly but with Covid infection rates rising locally and nationally, it was the right thing to do.
“We needed to protect families who would have attended the event and the wider community. We know the traveller community is disappointed but really appreciate their understanding that we needed to act in the public interest.”
Inspector Simon Ellson, from the Cotswolds Neighbourhood Policing team, said: “The decision to cancel the event was taken in line with Government advice about avoiding large gatherings during the Coronavirus pandemic. Officers from my team will be patrolling the area this week to ensure that people do not continue to attend and anyone who has concerns is asked to contact the Neighbourhood Policing Team by calling 101.
“We will continue to use the 4Es approach of engaging, explaining and encouraging people to follow the restrictions whilst using enforcement where people knowingly flout the law and put lives at risk. We would like to thank the traveller community in advance for not travelling during the pandemic so that we can all help to control the spread of the virus.”
The notice served can be viewed here.