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How did Mop fair go ahead?


THE ANNUAL MOP fair went ahead in Alvechurch despite last-minute efforts to stop it over coronavirus fears.
Local councillors, district and parish, tried to halt it after hearing that the fair event that takes over the village centre on the first Wednesday in October had been given the go-ahead by officers at Bromsgrove District Council.
They are now urging a review of what happened and why there was no prior consultation with local representatives or the community.

Restrictions on rides at the Mop Fair
Restrictions on rides at the Mop Fair after it was given the go-ahead in Alvechurch during the coronavirus pandemic in October 2020.

News that the Mop was still coming to Alvechurch even as cases of coronavirus were rising at an alarming rate and despite it not being allowed in other areas, such as Kings Norton, prompted days of outspoken views on social media.
In exchanges that were at times unseemly, villagers from opposing sides of the debate failed to reach any consensus over “getting on with life” versus “preventing the country becoming swamped by coronavirus infections”.
The latter group feared the Mop fair would find it difficult to remain safe.
In the event, the fair appeared to be following national guidelines closely, with restricted numbers on rides to enable social distancing, staff wiping down equipment between uses, controls on numbers in the fair area and a large number of stewards, police and council officers on hand to ensure compliance.
Numbers at the fair looked to be at most half of the usual attendees, with groups of young people sticking to the “Rule of Six” guidelines and still managing to have a good time.
The constant rain that fell for much of the evening after dusk could have affected attendance as much as fears over coronavirus.
Alvechurch parish vice-chairman Andy Humphries said afterwards: “I feel the only way for lessons to be learnt and public confidence restored, is a formal review of the Mop saga, led by someone independent of Bromsgrove, including district and parish council representatives, and with recommendations made public.”
District councillor Charlie Hotham said he would propose that Bromsgro­ve’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee should carry out an investigation.

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