Heated debate over Spittal Gala venue

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Protestors calling for a return to the school field for the Spittal Gala next year described the site as the hub of the village.

Their views were explained to a public meeting called by Spittal Improvement Trust on Friday.

Next year’s event could be extended to coincide with the 70th anniversary of VE Day.

However, chairman Willie Young said that if that is to happen they must have more helpers and safety measures point to the present site at the south end of the village continuing to be used.

Lynda Scott said the group who organised a petition felt strongly there should be a renewed effort to secure the field, and some residents also wanted the car boot sale to return to Main Street.

The school had never said no use could be made of their field. What they could not allow was its use by heavy vehicles which caused extensive damage in 2012.

Trust members explained that if the field was to be properly set up vehicles had to have access.

Hazel Bettison emphasised that public safety was also a crucial factor in the current venue. If they had to start manning barriers and operating road closures they would struggle. They did not have a large budget.

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