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Mela WILL go ahead
THE show is set to go on for the Mela after Swindon Council backed down over recently imposed limits on visitors to Town Gardens.
Organisers have announced the one-day Indian-themed festival is back on, just a week after cancelling it citing the council’s new health and safety rules on events in parks.
It would have meant only 5,000 people, including event staff and volunteers, would have been allowed in the Town Gardens at any one time but after emergency talks with council leader David Renard they have been afforded special dispensation.
Coun Renard said: “This is a great outcome for everyone. The council has actively supported the Mela over the last 10 years and I do not want to lose it from the Swindon calendar.”
The popular event, which saw more than 10,000 people attend last year, was set to take place on August 24 but that date may be subject to change as firm arrangements remain to be negotiated.
A joint statement issued yesterday said: “Following a positive meeting with the leader of the council, the Swindon Mela Project Team is pleased to announce that it will be running the Mela this year.
“There are several event management issues to resolve and a firm date will be available within the next few days.
“Council leader David Renard has offered a special dispensation to enable the Mela to go ahead this year at the Town Gardens with a limit of 10,000 people. This is subject to the Mela project team having the appropriate plans in place.
The project team and council have also agreed to begin discussions about the long-term future of the Mela and to consider all possible options for staging the popular annual event.
Coun Renard said: “It contributes so much to the local community, economy and Swindon as a whole. There are concerns about the suitability of Town Gardens for such a large event but the Mela project team have given me assurances to feel able to offer a dispensation for this year.
“The project team’s commitment to the Mela is very impressive and I look forward to working with them to ensure this year’s Mela goes well and to secure the long term future of the event.”
Jaspal Singh Bhui, from the Mela project team, said: “The Mela is a much loved event and I am delighted the council has enabled it to go ahead this year.
“I also welcome the council’s willingness to explore options so we ensure the Mela is a permanent fixture on the calendar.”
For all details about the Mela contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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