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No Party in the Park for 2016 due to Poole council’s ‘terribly unfair’ fee says organiser

THE organiser of the annual Party in the Park says that it has been cancelled due to time constraints and an increased fee.

Run by Jane Jones PR, the event has taken place for the past 15 years in Ashley Cross, Poole, with thousands of people enjoying live music from Jazzy Jeff and Drew Allen last year as well as food stalls and children’s entertainment.

Back in March, Jane Jones told Daily Echo that Borough of Poole had allegedly increased the fees for the event from £2,350 to £8,000, which, if enforced, could lead to the cancellation of the event.

Party in the Park also attracted controversy following complaints of noise, anti-social behaviour and litter from local residents and Borough of Poole’s own Environmental and Consumer Protection Services.

It was eventually allowed to go ahead after a string of conditions were imposed at a special meeting.

Speaking to Daily Echo in March, she said: “I simply cannot justify this increase as I only make a small profit for all the hard work my team and I put into the event. I am sure that this is what they want and that yet again an event will be hit in Poole.”

Jane has now announced the cancellation of this year’s event, which she described as something which has brought her great joy, with a note on the Party in the Park website saying that it will return in 2017.

She said: “Due to the time constraints and various other factors, I have regrettably come to the conclusion that it is better not to go ahead this year rather than try to cobble something together. I know that we at JJ PR and Events will be up against so many organisational issues.

“The price hike has made a difference to me but I don’t think a lot of people understand that this wasn’t a money-making commercial event. It was supposed to be a bit of a community hub event for local people.
“I think that the council have been terribly unfair. I wasn’t given a whiff of a price increase last year. I attended the safety advisory meeting four months after the event and they never mentioned a price increase.”

Jane added that she is considering adding more child-friendly activities for the 2017 Party in the Park, which she hopes that this will allow Borough of Poole to take a different view on the event.

Cllr Mohan Iyengar, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture for Borough of Poole, said: “We understand the event organiser has decided not to go ahead with Party in the Park this year for a variety of reasons.

“One of these is the level of site hire fee which has increased but is comparable with similar events. Event fees are reviewed on an annual basis and charges vary depending on the type, size and location of each event.”