Report was not very fair

Dumfries and Galloway Council has been criticised for an “inaccurate” report submitted to Newton Stewart’s community council in the wake of discussions over where to site an annual visiting fairground.

Following a request by Cree Valley Community Councillors to find a new home for the fair away from the Riverside Car Park after complaints from local business owners, the suggestion was made to open up Minnigaff Playing Fields for the cause.

However, following discussions with the fair owners and local authority representatives, it was decided too much work would be required to remove fencing which would allow the fair’s larger rides access to the park.

The fair’s owners chose not to pursue an alternative venue for this year.

At the community council’s monthly meeting on Monday when councillor Jane Boan asked how much work was actually involved, she was told the job involved nothing more than the removal of three fence posts.

It was reported via correspondence from Dumfries and Galloway Council that the cost of removing the fencingwould be more than the authority could collect in rent from the attraction.

However, community council chairman Tom Greenaway said this was untrue.

He added: “It is totally inaccurate – there would have been no cost implication, we offered to do the work ourselves or have it covered so I feel this report is not giving us the full information.

“We really need someone from the council to come and talk to us about this to avoid this lack of information. We need to know if that area can be used for other events or if it really is just a football pitch.

“I think we really need to know if there is any mileage in extending the use of the park.”

Council member Clifford Smithers agrred, saying: “We need clarification as to what constitutes use of a public park. The park should be available for various uses.”