Support Our Troops: council overreaction

SIR – As the show organiser of Support Our Troops day, I thought I would reply to your article (WHT, page 11, June 10). I was born in this town and own Predator Motorsport car and bike centre on Mundells one way in WGC. I arranged the show in three week

SIR - As the show organiser of Support Our Troops day, I thought I would reply to your article (WHT, page 11, June 10).

I was born in this town and own Predator Motorsport car and bike centre on Mundells one way in WGC.

I arranged the show in three weeks flat with help from three members of my staff.

The show was an outstanding success because local people volunteered in mass and were outstanding.


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The WHC state they were in support of the recent Support Our Troops event and that Mayor Kim Langley opened the event.

It is true that Kim Langley did open the show, however she had only been our mayor for one week leading up to show and it was through discussions between ourselves that she came to open the event not because she had been asked to by the council.

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WHC also raised concerns over lack of hand-washing facilities for food preparation.

There were two food points in the show area on the day plus a BBQ in the Naval Club for their members.

The centre food point had a sink with hot and cold water for hand washing but the first two Welwyn Hatfield Multi-Agency Safety Advisory Team members asked us to disconnect the propane bottle for the hot water as "it was too close to trees".

Five minutes later two people from Environmental Health turned up asking to see the hand-washing facilities, and wanted to know where the hot water was.

It was explained that the propane bottle was disconnected as requested by their colleagues which prevented this station being opened at all.

In the meantime at the second station we had removed the sink and replaced with hand gel and disposable gloves. Environmental Health were fine with this but proceeded to check customers food with their heat reading probes. We got the thumbs up and then they moved onto the Naval Club which was a private BBQ.

WHC cite a lack of appropriate food storage. In fact there was a 7.5t freezer truck parked behind the food point which was supplied by a local food distributor that is regulated by the council.

I spent the first half of the show running around after these power- hungry people and had to call off the Cheerleader Carwash, the Military Vehicle Parade, the American Car Parade and the Modified Car Parade.

Also, people collecting donations were placed elsewhere to satisfy requests from WHC on the day, but my biggest regret is not welcoming our guest of honour Lord Salisbury and other guests as I was tied up when the council asked me to stop people crossing the road!

I think I am right in saying this is a free country and the public have the right to cross the road and this is what our troops are fighting for past and present and why I also have the right of reply.

Question: Why do we have a full-time event advisory team? How much does this cost me and the residents to run a year? How many shows are there in Welwyn and Hatfield a year?

I have arranged over 20 shows in my life and none has taken me long to do. I live here - do the events team? Do these people know what the local residents want anymore? I think the population of Welwyn and Hatfield would like to know.

Colin Fitch, Bakers Grove, Panshanger, WGC.

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