This year’s Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre has been cancelled to help public services concentrate on tackling COVID-19 and support businesses across West Suffolk.
The decision also follows clear instructions from the Government not to tie up public and emergency services in events so they can concentrate on prioritising COVID-19 actions.
More than 130,000 are attracted to the Christmas Fayre and the planning work which needs to be carried out now requires a tremendous amount of input from public services.
The move to cancel this year’s event frees up officer time and council resources to support businesses now and, importantly their recovery in the future.
This means the council can introduce tailored help across the whole of West Suffolk for businesses and high streets at Christmas to celebrate the festive time and respond to any restrictions still in place.
Equally it is unclear whether later in the year the event would be able to be held anyway. As many things have to be booked now it could prove be a waste of money which is better spent on businesses and communities.
John Griffiths, leader of West Suffolk Council, said: “We know how popular the fayre is and it is with a heavy heart we have taken this decision. But in the circumstances, and when you see events like the Olympics being postponed, it is the right one.
“Planning for the Christmas Fayre is a massive task and much has to be planned or booked now. Postponing it this year means we and our emergency service partners can continue to concentrate on helping our businesses and communities through this difficult time.
“It also means that we can free up resources to not only help residents and businesses across West Suffolk who are facing hardships now but also in their economic recovery down the road. We understand many may be disappointed, but this really is the sensible way forward to ensure we focus on helping our businesses and emergency services to weather the current challenges brought by the pandemic.
“It will also hopefully put us all in a better position, come Christmas, to celebrate and help businesses in Bury St Edmunds and throughout West Suffolk make the most of the festive season.”