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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Carnival is cancelled over town roadworks

MAJOR roadworks in Cockermouth have claimed another victim with the cancellation of the town’s 2014 summer carnival.

Organisers said the event, which was due to take place on June 21, could not go ahead because Main Street would still be closed while £1.7 million of work is carried out.

It is the third time in the event’s 119-year history that the annual parade has been cancelled.

Isabel Burns, one of the organisers, announced the decision at Wednesday’s town council meeting.

She said it would be too difficult to arrange because of the roads.

Last year’s carnival was called off with organisers partly blaming the improvement work planned on Main Street and continued work in the Memorial Gardens.

They were also late with a road closure request for the carnival route.

But at Wednesday’s meeting, mayor Phillip Graham asked if a fun day could be held instead in the Memorial Gardens.

A fun fair usually takes place at the end of the procession route of the carnival.

Councillor Alan Smith said: “These events need to go ahead or we need to do something else. It’s a good idea to have something else in the Memorial Gardens.”

He suggested that letters should be sent to groups and organisations asking if they wanted to participate in a fun day.

It was also agreed to publicise the need for volunteers to help organise the event.

The carnival cancellation is another blow for the town which has already seen several events called off this year.

Organisers of the Malcolm Wilson Rally, which took place last month, blamed the roadworks for the race not starting from its traditional town centre point. The event started from Dovenby Hall instead and bypassed Cockermouth.

The town’s Georgian Fair, due on May 2, was also cancelled because of the redevelopment.

Main Street was completely closed last month for the improvement project to help protect the town from flooding.

A second phase, from High Sand Lane to Cocker Bridge, is planned in May when that section will close.

Main Street is set to reopen to traffic both ways by the end of June.

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