THE council has vowed to work with Reading Carnival organisers so that the town can enjoy a popular, family-friendly event in 2021.
Following the revocation of the current licence for Reading Community Carnival at Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) licensing sub-committee hearing this week (September 10), the sub-committee was clear that it strongly encouraged a fresh application by the Reading Caribbean Cultural Group as soon as possible for an event in May 2021, which complied with licensing objectives and set out more detail of how the event would move forward.
That view has now been echoed by Councillor Adele Barnett-Ward, lead councillor for Neighbourhoods at RBC, who yesterday (september 11) said: “Carnival is an important fixture in our cultural calendar, organised by the Reading Caribbean Cultural Group to celebrate the history of the Caribbean community in Reading and the huge contribution black people have made to our town.
“I am really looking forward to attending Carnival in 2021 and the council is keen to work with the organisers so Reading can enjoy Carnival as a fun, family-friendly event next year.
“In revoking the current licence, the licensing committee was very clear that it would wholeheartedly welcome a fresh application for a new premises licence for May 2021. I echo that sentiment.
“There were some serious incidents at the 2019 event, which are deplored by the organisers as well as the council.
“It is clear that the RCCG is prepared to implement changes suggested by police and licensing officers and accompany these with a robust event management plan – using professional support if needed – to ensure the carnival reverts to the safe, family-friendly celebration it has always been in the past.
“I know that council officers have already made contact with the RCCG and I am personally seeking a meeting with them to work on a way forward which is acceptable to all involved.”