A petition has been launched to save a popular family event that will not go ahead this year.

Workington Town Council has announced it will not be able to support Harrington Marina Day, saying the event “has not been progressed” by the organiser.

The loss of the event, which usually takes place in the last weekend of August, has been described as a “great shame”.

Mark Jenkinson, Workington MP, has launched a petition against the decision, which he says a lot of people are “very angry” about.

He said: “I think it’s a terrible decision for not just the people of Harrington but for the wider population of Workington who also attend.

“The old Lions Day used to be fantastically popular and while the Workington Town Council provision wasn’t as big, was still very welcomed by the community.

“I cannot for the life of me understand why they would take such a decision, particularly when you see what they do waste money on.

“It’s very clear that the council is the organiser. It just appears they don’t want to take the credit when the event has been cancelled. I know there’s a lot of people in Harrington, very angry about it.

“The town council in the last few years have done some really fantastic events, I just cannot understand why they would want to pull one of those popular events.”

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Catherine Gourlay, Workington Town Council clerk, said the town council usually organises the event, but somebody else had offered to do it this year, with the support of the town council.

She said: “The people who were supposed to be doing it, aren’t doing it. We said we’d support them to do it. They haven’t done anything.

“We’d been hoping something would get done. Nothing’s been done so we’ve had to withdraw support for something that’s not happening. We’ve not cancelled it, we’ve just had to withdraw support.

“We are not able to support something that is not happening. Events have to be planned months in advance.

“Because it hasn’t been able to go ahead, we’ve re-allocated our budget to another event. We’re putting on so many events over the summer.

“If we were going to do it ourselves like we have done in the past, we’d have had to have everything sorted months ago. We’ve got so much stuff on we haven’t got the time now to pick it up and do anything.

“It’s practicalities. That’s the only reason that we can’t support it anymore.”

She added that she hoped Mr Jenkinson would contact the town council if he believed the authority was “wasting money” but said as far as she was concerned, they don’t.

Sarah Moore, from Workington, who was looking forward to taking her young children to the event, said: “The town council has put on great family events in recent years and I felt the marina day was the best of the toddler-friendly events.

“It's a huge shame to see a popular free-to-attend event cancelled, especially during a cost-of-living crisis when a lot of parents might be worried about affording the basics let alone finding money for activities and days out.”

A statement released by Workington Town Council said: “Harrington Marina Day was an event supported by Workington Town Council, unfortunately, as this event has not been progressed by the organiser, Workington Town Council are no longer able to assist.

“We regret the inconvenience and never like to disappoint the people of Workington, but we have other events available throughout the summer, including Science Booth Workshops, Teddy Bear’s Picnic, Festival of Running, Crystal Kid’s Club, Story Time Yoga, Yoga in the Park, Mother and Baby Circle, Crafty Workshop Activities, Muay Tie Fitness, Bowling Sessions, Rugby Sessions and Mental Health Awareness Sessions.

“All of these activities are provided free of charge thanks to funding from Workington Town Council and Allerdale Borough Council. Please contact Workington Town Council or visit their Facebook page @workingtontowncouncil for more information and how to book.”

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