Branding of May Fair discussed by council

Mossley Mill.
Mossley Mill.

A call for the branding of council sponsored events to be made more prominent was made during a meeting at Mossley Mill on February 13.

Members of the Antrim and Newtownabbey Council’s Community Planning and Regeneration Committee discussed the topic during an item regarding Ballyclare May Fair.

The committee was set to approve dates for the 2017 May Fair Festival, with the proposed dates being May 23 to May 27 inclusive.

However, members agreed to wait until after a meeting of the May Fair Working Group had taken place before confirming if the festival would take place over these proposed dates.

DUP representative, Cllr Timothy Girvan approved the recommendation that the festival took place, with flexibility around the proposed dates and within the budget provided for in the estimates for 2017-18. This was seconded by UUP representative, Cllr Vera McWilliam.

The agenda also detailed the funding arrangements for the festival, with members being notified that “a budget of £25,000 has been provided in the 2017/18 estimates.”

Commenting on the item, Alliance Party representative, Cllr John Blair said: “I propose that in future this be called the Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council Ballyclare May Fair and branded as such. This is an exclusively council event, with events such as the festival at Lough Shore, which are exclusively council events are sold and promoted and marketed as Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council events and so they should be.”

Commenting on the issue, Cllr McWilliam said the council branding has always appeared on May Fair literature.

Majella McAlister, Director of Community Planning and Regeneration stated: “Just to be clear, we do promote it. We maybe don’t do a good enough job. If members are content enough, officers would undertake to come up with how that will be promoted and how we will name the council in the advertising going forward.”