Essex: Water works could spoil carnival day

PLANS for Great Dunmow’s carnival have been put under threat following the arrival of water works in the town’s High Street.

Concerns have been raised over the annual flagship event because major pipe replacement work has been scheduled to clash with its September 18 date.

However, after vigorous lobbying from organising committees, the chamber of trade and the Dunmow Broadcast, Veolia, who is responsible for the works, has agreed to accelerate its timetable in a bid to finish the work before the big day.

Veolia spokesman Sue Pavey said: “We have been liaising with Essex Highways Authority to ensure that our mains replacement work in Dunmow is undertaken with the minimum disruption to the community.

“The work has already started but should now be completed well before September 18. We would like to thank our customers for their patience during the project.”

Carnival procession committee chairman Ron Clover welcomed the news but emphasised the need for the work to be completed.

“We are very concerned because they were scheduled to complete after the important date,” he said.

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“Thousands of people come to watch the carnival and it is just as important for the pavements to be cleared as indeed it is for the roadway.”

He added: “Also there is the visual effect to consider. Literally thousands of photographs are taken on the day. The one day in the year that our great town is on show to the world.

“We want it to look its best and so we appeal to the water company to ensure that everything is ship shape for the prestigious event.”

Traders in the town have also urged for minimal disruption sighting that the summer is their most important time for sales.

Many are concerned that the state of the High Street during the works will drive away customers at a time when local shops need them most.

Chamber chairman Mike Perry said: “It needs maximum effort from the water board because the work which has to be carried out will affect business in the High Street so the earlier the finish date the better.”

Meanwhile arrangements are well underway for the event which has the theme of ‘Films’,

Pitches on the recreation ground are available for individuals and groups to raise money causes, charities, or to showcase a business.

Charges are �5 for local charities and groups (�10 for national) and �35 for commercial pitches – call 01371 873768.

HOW have the water works affected you? Give us your comments. E-mail or write to 54 High Street, Saffron Walden, Essex CB10 1EE.