Festival goers and local businesses have expressed concerns over the viability of Sweeps festival due to the removal of the 4th May bank holiday. Medway Labour and Co-operative will urge the council to write to government to reintroduce the 4th May bank holiday alongside the new VE Day bank holiday.
Cllr Vince Maple, Leader of the Labour and Co-operative Group on Medway Council said, ‘I fully support having a bank holiday coincide with the 75th anniversary of VE Day on Friday 8th May. Arguably the most important celebration of peace in the Western world, it’s important that people get an opportunity to honour the sacrifices of a generation. Indeed, with Medway’s rich military history many residents will be celebrating the heroism of relatives who served in the war or on the home front.
‘This motion is calling on Medway Council to ask the government to make the VE Day bank holiday an additional holiday, opposed to a moving the existing bank holiday, so as not to disrupt Sweeps festival.
‘Sweeps festival is an important event, not just for residents and tourists who come from all over the country and further afield, but for traders who depend on popular events such as Sweeps.
‘There is precedent for doing this; the government granted an additional bank holiday for the Royal Wedding back in 2011. Hopefully the government will consider the Royal Wedding at least equal in importance to VE day celebrations and grant an additional bank holiday.’
The motion reads as follows:
Council welcomes the proposal of a bank holiday to recognise the 75th anniversary for VE Day on Friday 8th May.
Council notes with concern the disruption to much loved events like Sweeps festival due to the proposal to not have a bank holiday on Monday 4th May.
Council request the Chief Executive write to Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to call on government to hold bank holidays on both 4th and 8th May 2020.
This motion is calling on Medway Council to ask the government to make the VE Day bank holiday an additional holiday, opposed to a moving the existing bank holiday, so as not to disrupt Sweeps festival. Cllr Vince Maple, Leader of the Labour and Co-operative Group on Medway Council