Council defends decision to allow circus on Titchfield Park

FUN OR FOLLY? -- the Circus Funtasia big top, which has rolled on to Titchfield Park in Hucknall.
FUN OR FOLLY? -- the Circus Funtasia big top, which has rolled on to Titchfield Park in Hucknall.

Ashfield District Council has moved to reassure worried residents after a circus controversially set up camp on Titchfield Park in Hucknall.

The concerns were aired by former councillor John Wilmott on behalf of the Friends Of Titchfield Park group, who claimed they knew nothing about Circus Funtasia arriving this week for a five-day, nine-show stint.

Mr Wilmott said that in his 25 years on the council, it was always the policy not to allow circuses or fairs on the historic park, and he feared irreparable damage to the football pitches there. He also complained that the circus had been advertised via illegal fly-posting across the town

However, the council told the Dispatch everything was above board and that the circus, which did not feature animals, had its full blessing.

“Circus Funtasia is a human circus and has been booked in line with the council’s standard booking procedure for outdoor events,” said a spokesman.

“All the criteria have been adhered to, and site visits took place to ensure the circus could proceed without causing damage to the park. There has been no damage to the football field, which will be back in use in line with seasonal requirements.

“With regard to fly-posting, the council works hard to help keep Hucknall clean and tidy. Any incidents of fly-posting, brought to our attention, will be dealt with by environmental teams.

“The council is mindful of the feedback received from residents and the Friends group. We will ensure this is given due consideration when scheduling future events at the park.”

The Friends group was set up in 2003 to improve the park and promote and encourage pride in the venue, which dates back 101 years.

CIRCUS Funtasia insists it is interested only in entertaining the crowds, not sparking controversy.

It promises “a dazzling assortment of acts that amaze and amuse”, featuring a mixture of acrobatic, comedy and aerial feats by “highly skilled performers” that are professionally choreographed. “Whether you are five or 95, there is something for everyone,” says a spokesman.

The circus, which travels the country, began its Hucknall shows on Wednesday. There are two shows both today (Friday) and tomorrow, plus one on Sunday.