Wednesday, 4 June 2014

The Town Council's Festival Review

The big issue this year, even more than previous years, has been the problems of parking. The weather has been wet this year, but there have been wet years before when car parking in fields had to be closed.
The councillors wanted to have a meeting with the police, traffic enforcement agencies and both Festivals as a matter of urgency, and in private, to deal with parking for next year. Gareth said that the police already want to set up such a meeting, and have already got in touch with him. Clyro and Llanigon councils should also be involved, because of the roadside parking up the hill from the bridge, and the parking that goes into Llanigon's area, so the County Council should also be involved as it affects a group of local councils.
Gareth said that he had spoken to Peter Florence already, after midnight one evening of the Festival.
Alan Powell, whose workshop is close to the Globe, said that he had tried to sort out a traffic jam caused by a delivery lorry at the Globe on one day. It had parked so that the shuttle bus couldn't get past up Heol-y-dwr, and there was a tailback to the clocktower - and he just got a mouthful of abuse. There didn't seem to be anyone from the Globe supervising, either. On another occasion he approached a visitor parking around Booth Gardens, which is supposed to be for residents only, and again got abuse for his trouble - so he's not going to do anything like that again!
Steve Like suggested that the shuttle buses should reverse their route, and it should be easier to get round. It would also prevent tailbacks by the bus stop at the clocktower up the hill if they stopped on the other side of the road.
Gareth put up advisory "No Parking" signs, but several of them were moved about by residents!
Fiona Howard has had emails saying how nice the people of Hay are, and what a pity that the parking spoiled things.
The Globe Festival is expanding every year, but they don't make any attempt to provide parking, whereas the main Hay Festival makes great efforts - they even delivered 50 lorry loads of hardcore to Clyro for hard standing for the wet weather car park at their own expense.
There was talk of refusing the license for the Globe's festival next year unless they made provision for parking, since they are now attracting a crowd of around 35,000. The girders they have put in to extend the area they can use in the little field by the road were mentioned. They do not have planning permission, and they are now being investigated by the County Council's Enforcement Officer (or possibly the National Park - I wasn't quite clear there) after several residents complained.
So Gareth will go to the police meeting and take the council's concerns with him.
The Environmental Health department have also been out to monitor noise levels, because of previous complaints about the Globe. The problem is mainly that of smokers congregating outside and people leaving in the early hours of the morning, but the checks found that the noise levels were within the recommended limits, and the marquees closed at 11pm, with any further events happening inside the main building.
Over the week, there has only been one formal complaint to the County Council.
All the traffic wardens in Powys were in Hay on one day, as well - it was noted that the County Council sees Hay as a "cash cow" - "over-zealous" was the polite term used.
Someone also asked if they could find out how much money the main car park took during the Festival. Steve Like pointed out that neither Festival booklet makes any mention of where to park, whereas when he's gone to Festivals in other parts of the country there are clear directions in the Festival booklets.

Another issue brought up over the Festival period was the pop-up shops, and people selling tea and cakes in their gardens. The Food Hygiene people came round to do spot checks during the Festival, and found that all the pop-ups had their paperwork in order - they need to apply for a license 28 days in advance. None of them seemed to have displayed their hygiene rating, which is a legal requirement, though they all had a proper rating. Gareth said he'd been round with the Food Hygiene people, and it had been quite an eye opener - some kitchens that he thought were very clean (and he has worked in the food industry, being the previous owner of the chip shop) were marked down because of poor paperwork, while kitchens he thought could be better got higher scores because they had all the right paperwork.

Also on the topic of the Festival, but not part of the Council meeting - I went into the newsagents the other day, and was given a Festival Telegraph bag with my purchase (for 10p). Margaret there was fuming because she hadn't had very many from the organisers this year, but at the end of the Festival the Telegraph stall on the site had given away a couple of boxes full of bags to one of the charities, when they could have been used during the week through the shop. She has been dividing up the bags she has left as fairly as she can between her regular customers.


Anonymous said...

Regarding mayoral allowance until about 15 years ago there was no allowance, Gareth has had to my knowledge the highest one at £700.

Most mayors keep track of what they spend and most spend in excess of the allowance


Anonymous said...

Is Booth Gardens residents only parking official?
Or did Persimmon(the builders) just put up a sign?
If it is official,then why can't every other housing estate in Hay have one?
Ratty wouldn't need his signs and the police wouldn't need to put out their cones. These only get moved by residents so that they can park outside their own houses.

Anonymous said...

If the Globe didn't have planning permission for the steel structure they erected and are being investigated by the relevant authority,then surely they must be refused permission for next year's event. If they are attracting 35,000 visitors then revoking their licence will be more punishment than any fine.

Anonymous said...

Sadly we will probably find that the Globe has enough money to make any investigation go away...

Anonymous said...

I received emails from Hay Festival making very clear the arrangements for the wet weather parking. Not sure if I received these as a Friend of the Festival, or as a ticket buyer. I think they came every morning and evening for the following day, it seems that people took no notice of them.

Came back into town on the bus one evening after the last event. The driver struggled to get the bus round the turn by the Globe, exacerbated by many many people in the street outside the Globe.

Anonymous said...

Powys CC has a digital asset register, ask the right questions to get the right answer. Land registry deals with post 1990ish transactions, I think?

Hay Festival brochure does mention parking and has a map, there's always room for improvement, however the recorded comments give cause for concern. The Globe does seem to be out of control and dodging it's responsibilities, they should be asked for a response to the criticism, no doubt that is in hand.

Your reports seems to point to poorly informed councilors of long standing

Anonymous said...

Re the wet weather parking.. Unfortunately visitors now use Google Earth to view both the Festival sites and decide where they can park for free before even leaving home. We get people parking in the estates even when it's dry.
Festival residents parking is the only way.

Ex-Student said...

Enough Globe bashing already!

It's far more fun, more 'real' and you can actually chat to the presenters at the bar, etc - which is more than you can do at Hay Festival, which is gradually turning into a giant series of adverts, paid for by publishers, where the presenters are kept in splendid isolation from the mere punters.

Long may HTLGIF continue!

Anonymous said...

Ex student,do you live anywhere near The Globe,or even in Hay?
HTLGIF is not just about the 10 days that it is actually on. There is never anyone from The Globe directing traffic around the numerous lorries both when the site is being set up and being stripped out.
It may be "more real" than Hay Festival in your opinion,but if it wants to continue and expand then The Globe is not a suitable venue. They must be made to relocate just like the Hay Festival did many years ago.
I'd still like to see HTLGIF stage at a different time to the Hay Festival, and then we'd see how many of their own punters they'd attract.

Anonymous said...

Steve Like should have looked at page 98 of the Hay Festival programme which clearly marks the Macmillan car park and the Charity car park, and points to the wet weather parking at Clyro. How the Light Gets In programme shows car parking on their Riverside site, but no arrangements for wet weather parking.