Anger over claims of fighting at music day

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PARISH councillors claimed there were fights at Music in the Park at Holbeach and “a big fracas down Park Road”.

Event organiser Elliot Watson has denied the councillors’ claims – and says the event was trouble-free.

And Sgt Duncan Ashwell, of Holbeach police, told the Spalding Guardian there were no reports involving violence in Carter’s Park that day.

One councillor, Yvonne Jones, claimed parents were buying drink from Tesco to give to their children.

She told Monday’s parish council meeting: “I know of 20 to 30 people who did that.”

The issue was raised by Coun Carol Johnson, who said: “I think before we agree to next year’s Music in the Park, we should be looking to see what security guard measures are put in place.

“There was a big fracas down Park Road, basically.

“The general feeling was that the security guards that the football club had been employing didn’t see the group of people out of the park and make sure that they didn’t congregate further down Park Road.

“The police were involved but in their usual fashion didn’t attend as quickly as they might have done.

“Apparently it was quite horrendous and I am surprised really that we haven’t had any complaints.”

Council chairman Coun Rita Rudkin said: “We need a few ground rules for next year.”

Coun Peter Savory said the football club would be responsible for whatever happened inside the ground but anything outside was a police matter.

Coun Jones said the under-age drinking happened because children got hold of supermarket alcohol.

She said: “Whether we like it or not, it is not going to stop and it was in the park. There were massive fights in the park.”

Coun Jones said the culprits were the parents who bought the drink at Tesco.

But Mr Watson hit back and said there were no fights in the park itself and no children were served alcohol in the ground.

He understood there were two incidents outside the ground – neither of which involved anyone who came out of the event.

He said: “I can tell you in 11 years of having this event there has been no trouble whatsoever.

“We have never had anyone arrested for any drink-related incidents, we have never had the police called to incidents.”

Mr Watson says he spends months organising the event – at no charge to anyone – and volunteers freely give their time on the day.

This year’s Music in the Park, held on July 31, raised £5,000 for Holbeach charities.

He said: “If the parish council have got any issues, they want to raise them with us. My phone number isn’t difficult to get hold of.

“I am not going to have myself associated with an event that’s trouble.”

Sgt Ashwell said three minor assaults were reported – two happened in Park Road and police attended within ten minutes.”

There were “four or five” alcohol seizures in the park.