Derby Evening Telegraph on RWB

This article appeared in the Derby Evening Telegraph last week. It clearly demonstrates the degree of loal opposition to the Red White and Blue festival being held in Denby again.

Protesters See Red over Second BNP Village Bash
By Chris Mallett
CMALLETT@DERBYTELEGRAPH.CO.UK

09:30 – 18 February 2008

Campaigners have vowed to fight plans by the British National Party to hold its annual festival in Derbyshire for the second year in a row.

BNP member Alan Warner wants to attract thousands of people to Red, White and Blue – which he plans to hold in early August on his fields in Codnor-Denby Lane, Denby.

He said the festival would be almost double the size of last year’s event, covering the area of 35 football pitches.

People living near the site, who said they fear noise and nuisance from the hundreds of people expected, said they would be better prepared to fight the plans than they were last summer.

John Lumsden, who lives opposite the fields, said: “Last year, the first we heard of the festival was signs on lampposts a few weeks before it was due to start. This time we’ll be able to make a bigger effort.”

Mr Lumsden said Red, White and Blue 2007 had attracted about 800 people, but said noise levels had disturbed residents.

He said: “The people who caused the main problems were the organisers who stayed up all night having large karaoke parties.”

Brian Bentley, also of Codnor-Denby Lane, said the festival was completely unsuitable for the area.

Mr Bentley, 76, said: “We had a lot of noise last year and a lot of people from the festival left the site and were just walking around the village drinking.”

Amber Valley MP Judy Mallaber backed the residents’ comments, saying she would “strongly support the campaigners in stopping the festival coming back”.

She said: “Several residents moved away for the weekend last year because they were so frightened. One family moved out because they didn’t want their children to be there.

“Many of the residents’ fears came true. Kids brought glass bottles on to fields where horses were kept, and there was a loud firework display which made the horses bolt.

“The festival does the area’s reputation no good whatsoever.”

It is legal to hold events on privately-owned land in the UK, but selling alcohol or playing music on the site requires a licence from the local district council.

A licensing application for the festival will be sent to Amber Valley Borough Council by the end of this month, but Mr Warner said Red, White and Blue would go ahead even if the application was unsuccessful.

He said: “I own the site and I will be holding the event with or without drink or music.

“They put a restriction on the number of people allowed last year, I believe it was 2,000, but I would prefer to see more.

“This year we have extra land because a neighbouring landowner has offered his fields. We can’t have any control over what visitors do once they leave the site.”

He said the members-only event would be “a family festival celebrating British culture” and would feature, among other things, a big wheel, a falconry display and dodgems.

Amber Valley Borough Council said it would consider any application on its own merit.

Police said no arrests were made at last year’s Red, White, and Blue, and that, if it took place this year, they would treat the festival in the same way as any other large event.

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