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Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Eastnor Parish Council Unhappy with the BIG CHILL Arrangements.

This is a copy of a letter sent to all the Eastnor Parish residents.
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EASTNOR and DONNINGTON PARISH COUNCIL
As from:  2 The Triangle, Eastnor, HR8 1RA
31st July 2010
To the Residents of the Village of Eastnor, Forming part of the above mentioned Parish.
The wording and presentation of some of the letters you have received concerning this year's event have not been in the style or tone that we would have liked; indeed letters from Big Chill Republic were meant to have been sent to us for approval prior to postage. Big Chill Republic have apologised for this as an oversight on their part.
When the original organisers of the Big Chill first brought the festival here in 2001 this council was asked if it would distribute free one day tickets for the residents of the parish on their behalf, as with intimate local knowledge we would be able to do so most fairly. At that time it was agreed within the council that this activity, whilst being more in line with what a residents association might do and NOT within the remit of a Parish Council, could be included within it's activities, as a gesture of goodwill both to the festival and the residents.
Every year the Parish Council has acted in accordance with the wishes of the organisers of the Big Chill as to what is given to whom and when, not on any other initiative.
The new owners of the Big Chill, rather than being a new organisation of old faces, are a much larger organisation with more experience in facilitating an event of this nature on this scale. In fact, this is a rather smaller event than some others in their portfolio, with a lower public profile. Understandably, they do things differently, hopefully better than we have experienced before, because it is what works elsewhere.
Collecting money from residents in return for access to the event is something that they do, with success, elsewhere. This is why you have been asked for £25 for each adult at your home, and why you have been asked to make payment to this Parish Council, even though the ticket remains ostensibly free.
When this was presented to us, we replied that we did not think that this would be acceptable here, even though the principle is laudable and that things could probably always have been this way.
However, it is not this Council's decision to make, nor is it within it's power to oppose. Nor was the subsequent decision that some residents should not pay at all.
Whilst we regret all this, we are not in a position to do anything about it. Any resident who wishes to do so must make any complaint to Big Chill Republic.
In the case of any local inconvenience before or during the festival Big Chill Republic (01531 635371) are keen to be informed as soon as possible so that it may be dealt with as swiftly as possible. In the case of any suspected criminal activity or trespassing then the Police must be informed as well.
We and Big Chill Republic are keen to hear any and all comments about this year's event, and plan to hold a public meeting at around the time of the next scheduled Parish Council meeting at the end of September.
Matthew Collis-Long, Chair,
Eastnor & Donnington Parish Council