People living around Great Pulteney Street are calling Bath Carnival up before the council in a bid to prevent the event from expanding.
The carnival hopes to be bigger when it comes back on 8th July, applying to Bath and North East Somerset Council to increase the number of people allowed in their Sydney Gardens ‘Party in the Park’ from 3,000 to 4,750.
But in a bid to stop the carnival expanding, people who live on the grand Georgian boulevards where the carnival is held objected to the council.
The matter will now be decided in a licensing hearing on Thursday 18th May.
Submitting the objection on behalf of the Pulteney Estate Residents’ Association, Vice Chair Ceris Humphreys said: “We object that any increase in the capacity will be contrary to public safety, contrary to the objectives of preventing harm to children and preventing crime, and will cause public nuisance.”
The association represents people living on Great Pulteney Street itself, as well as on Darlington Street and roads around Sydney Gardens where the carnival has its Party in the Park.
Bath Carnival says that to manage the increased numbers, they will bring in additional security staff and stewards, make sure there are sufficient toilet facilities, and inform their medical supplier.
But Ms Humphreys claims that at the carnival last summer, there were not enough stewards around and the amount of people on site was not being counted.
While looking for someone to report Great Pulteney Street residents’ issues with, she said she could not find any stewards on the Sydney Gardens site.
She said: “After looking around much of the site for quite some time without finding any steward, I noticed someone in a high-viz jacket collecting rubbish near the food area. I asked him to direct me to someone from the carnival.
“He advised me that nobody from Bath Carnival was on site as they were all out on the carnival parade.”
Ms Humphreys said: “I was very concerned by the absence of any responsible Carnival presence on site at a time when there were many people including many children present, which clearly raised serious concerns with regard to public safety.”
She added that there had been cases of the carnival exceeding its noise limits, and that litter had been left “strewn around” the morning after the carnival.
She said this led to a historical walk event having to be cancelled.
She said: “We are supportive of the Carnival as a community event. However, the 2022 event failed in various respects to comply with B&NES policies, with the approved Event Management Plan, and with Licensing Conditions of the Licence.
“The appropriate time to consider a capacity increase, and especially the large increase currently requested, would be following at least one event in which the above criteria are met by a well-run event.”
She added: “The evidence from the 2022 Bath Carnival is contrary to this, and the increased capacity, if permitted, would therefore represent a risk to safety and security of the general public, children and local residents.”
The hearing before Bath and North East Somerset Council’s licensing subcommittee will be held at Bath’s Guildhall at 10am on Thursday 18th May.
John Wimperis, Local Democracy Reporter