CHRISTMAS in the Park will not go ahead this year following South Village (formerly Patton Village) Committee discussions at a Special General Meeting this week held to consider conditions presented in the now approved Broken Hill City Council (BHCC) application to hold the event.
President of South Village Association (SVA), Alison Couch, outlined the group’s frustrations at BHCC’s Tuesday information session organised for regular hirers of council owned parks available for events.
A spokesperson for BHCC told the Barrier Truth, that council does not believe its processes to be onerous and support is still available should SVA decide to continue with the event.
At Thursday’s SVA meeting, one dedicated committee member conceded to feeling “worn out” by the formal processes required to hold community events, with attendees agreeing that a lack of hands-up to help host the event also greatly contributed to the decision to withdraw the BHCC hire application.
Ms Couch told the Barrier Truth that it is with sadness that SVA must announce they will not be hosting Christmas in the Park this year and that the committee will post a detailed explanation around this decision on their Facebook page today (Saturday).
“It is with sadness that South Village Association (Patton Village Association) announce they will not be hosting Christmas in the Park in Patton Street Park this year.
“The process has depleted our confidence in delivering events in Patton Street Park, however, we will not disappoint our community’s children. We have spoken with Santa who is still committed to a magical Southside visit, and we’ll be providing all the details soon,” says Ms Couch.
“It is regrettable that South Village Association has chosen to cancel its annual Christmas event, however, council does not accept that administrative processes are the cause,” a Council spokesperson said.
“The recent changes to council’s application process and requirements for outdoor event hire are not onerous and have only been made to ensure we comply with government legislative changes around food safety and outdoor events that were implemented following the jumping castle incident in December 2021 that killed four children in Tasmania.
“Council has always done everything within its power to support this event since its inception and has made it clear that it was more than willing to do the same again this year regarding both organisational and financial support.
“Council yesterday extended a written invitation to meet with organisers to work through their event requirements, however, we have today learned that they have opted to simply cancel the event. We regret that a positive outcome could not be reached.”
“Despite this, we remain open to working with the SVA should they reconsider their decision and remain happy to work with them on any and all future events.”