THIS year’s Littlehampton Town Show will be the last, organisers have vowed, after Conservative town councillors voted to split it from the Family Fun Day it has partnered for 10 years.
The Tory-controlled council agreed to move the show to the new Southfields Jubilee Centre from 2013, with the Family Fun Day held three weeks earlier at the Rosemead Open Space, where the two events have previously been held side by side.
Town Show manager Alan Humphrey warned the horticultural show would not fit into the new centre and urged Thursday night’s meeting of the town council to keep the events together, as each benefited from the other.
But his plea, and those of Labour, Liberal Democrat and Independent councillors who proposed retaining the united format in September, fell on deaf ears, with their amendment defeated by six votes to five. Conservative Simon Weston broke ranks with his party to support the amendment. Two others abstained.
Speaking later, Mr Humphrey said: “My feeling is that, due to lack of support from the town council, there won’t be a show in 2013.
“The best thing we can do is walk away from it.”
Last year’s show, he added, had been the most successful yet, with more than 700 entries, making it one of the biggest in Sussex.
Mr Humphrey told councillors during the meeting’s public forum: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” a point agreed by opposition members.
Liberal Democrat Dr James Walsh said it was highly likely that attendance at the show would fall if the events were separated.
Conservative Derek Hulmes said the council needed to look at making savings in the current climate, but Labour veteran Tony Squires urged: “Please, please, don’t spoil something that’s really good in this town.”
What do you think?
Do you agree the Littlehampton Town Show should have been scrapped? Cast your vote in the panel to the right of the screen and leave your comments below.