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Council Leader Oliver Hemsley reflects on the events this week

Date Published: 25 June 2021
Council Leader Oliver Hemsley.

Councillor Oliver Hemsley, Leader of Rutland County Council

As the event at the Showground comes to a close, we are asking people in the community to consider the use of alternative routes, if possible. We expect it to be very busy around the Showground this morning. There will, inevitably, be disruption and we have been working hard with partners to put plans in place to minimise this as much as possible.

This week has presented several challenges to our county and highlighted some key issues that we need to work together to resolve in the coming months.  Having attended many meetings about the event at the Showground this week, and had numerous conversations with residents and colleagues, it is clear to me that the main issue is less about the event and the processes surrounding it, but more to do with a few attendees who chose to attend the event and disrespect our county. While we will be reviewing the issues surrounding the event planning process and the involvement of key agencies at an early stage, it remains the case that this was a legal event. The organisers have provided partners access to the event since its start and, through this, key agencies including Fire, Police and the Council, have been assured that the event complied with recognised event standards.

Unfortunately however, there have been some people engaging in crime and anti-social behaviour during the week, which has understandably caused concern in our local community. There are many bridges to be built over the coming weeks and months and the Council will be playing a significant part, alongside its partners and the Showground, to achieve this. These conversations are certainly not going to be easy but will be important nonetheless, as events, wherever they are held, are an important part of our community and the county’s identity.

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