Site is ready for yearly horse fair

Seamer Horse Fair .Celine Jackson takes in the scenes at the site 102856c news
Seamer Horse Fair .Celine Jackson takes in the scenes at the site 102856c news

FINAL preparations have been put in place for next month’s Seamer Horse Fair, with hundreds of gipsies and travellers expected to flock to Scarborough.

The event will be held for the second time on council land to the north of the B1261, between Seamer and Crossgates, between July 6 and July 15.

Police, Scarborough Council and North Yorkshire County Council are hopeful of a repeat of last year’s event, when scenes of disorder which marred previous years were largely avoided.

A spokesperson for Scarborough Council said: “We have finalised arrangements for this year’s Travellers Horse Fair.

“Facilities will be provided for travellers, including the provision of an on-site water supply via standpipes and a horse trough in the adjacent Dell, as well as portable toilets and skips for refuse disposal.

“Site managers will be on-site 24 hours a day, seven days a week over the period that the site is opened.

“They are being tasked with, among other things, collecting the site fee, ensuring that the site is managed safely and minimising disturbance to local residents.”

This year, a ‘quiet site’ policy, between 10pm and 6am, will be enforced.

The fees the travellers will be charged will depend on when they arrive at the annual event.

Those arriving on the first day of the fair will be charged £60 per caravan, with the price decreasing by £5 on each consecutive day.

If they arrive on July 11 or later they will be charged £5 per day.

This year, each stall holder on the final day of the fair will be required to pay an additional £20 to Scarborough Council.

Last year, the taxpayer was left with a bill of £95,000 for the horse fair, with only a small percentage being recouped through fees charged to travellers.

However, the cost is expected to be far less this year as several one-off costs, such as fencing around Centurion Way to prevent camping on unauthorised land, will not have to be repeated.

The fencing cost £53,000 when it was erected around the area, where angry confrontations between travellers and residents occurred in the years preceding 2010.

In 2008, £788 was spent evicting travellers from unauthorised sites, while the following year more than £4,724 was spent by the local authority.

Last year it was not necessary to spend any money evicting travellers as they as stayed on the designated site.

Planning permission has already been granted to use the land to the north of the B1261 for a further two years, although the location will once again be reviewed after the permission expires.

A temporary 30mph speed limit will be in force on the B1261 between the Crossgates and Seamer roundabouts from Tuesday July 5 to Saturday 16 July 16.