Partiers blast councillor

James Place in Standish
James Place in Standish

ANGRY neighbours have accused their councillor of being a Jubilee street party pooper.

They claim that Coun Gareth Fairhurst was against their popular event from the start after being the only resident, before he became a councillor in last month’s elections, to formally object during the legal road closure consultation required by town hall highways chiefs before it could go ahead.

And they say that on Bank Holiday Monday he called out police to try to silence their Diamond Jubilee festivities as the “fun packed day” outdoors spilled into an outdoor karoke-filled evening.

The street party, complete with red, white and blue bunting decked trestle tables and a large gazebo in case of rain, filled the cul-de-sac, James Place in Standish, with colour.

But apparently it was the only one in the borough which didn’t pass off without complaint.

Standish Independent Coun Fairhurst said he decided to contact the police about the noise after being contacted by a constituent.

Joint organiser Jeanette Walsh, 32, who lives in nearby Moores Lane but attended the street party at the invitation of her friend who lives in James Place, claimed many residents were fuming over the actions of Coun Fairhurst.

She said: “We had organised the street party on the Bank Holiday Monday for all of the community and surrounding neighbours to get together, but when we put in for a permit for a road closure there was an objection from one person, Gareth Fairhurst who lives on the street.

“We had a fantastic day with a mini Olympics for all the children and adults and a prize giving event where all the children got medals, trophies and jubilee cups, along with a barbeque and a proper children’s jubilee buffet which our children will remember, we hope, for years to come.

“Fortunately we were able to close James Place until 8pm, but then, like clockwork, come 8pm, Coun Fairhurst reappeared wanting to get his car down the road and took videos from his phone as we dared to celebrate the Jubilee. We had placed a gazebo at the end of someone’s drive and placed all the tables and chairs inside and continued to celebrate with a street karaoke.

“But later the police turned up saying that they had a complaint from the councillor about the noise. However the officers said that as far as they were concerned the levels were fine and that we could continue, but they had to investigate any complaint.

Councillor Fairhurst said: “The Jubilee was a wonderful occasion and I am the first to applaud any celebration of this historic event.

“I do however have duties as a Councillor. When the street party local to my home went on two and a half hours past the allocated finish time of 8.00pm, I received a complaint from one of my constituents.

“I was also concerned about the noise on behalf of my own family and the other residents. I therefore felt I had no alternative but to ask the police to take steps which they in their expertise thought appropriate.

“I do have responsibilities for the safety and welfare of my constituents and I take those responsibilities seriously.”