Plans for party to be on town’s agenda

Eirlys Plowman at last year's Banbury Old Town Party which was held in a 1940s style
Eirlys Plowman at last year's Banbury Old Town Party which was held in a 1940s style

Members of Banbury Town Council’s resources committee has supported proposals that the council is to oversee the Old Town Party.

The annual event, now in its fourth year, has previously received support from Cherwell District Council but proposals are for the town council to make it part of its events agenda.

The plans, which also include setting up a new committee, were given the thumbs- up at the meeting on Tuesday but a final decision will be made at a full council meeting on January 20.

The committee would include representatives from the Old Town Association, the town and district councils, Castle Quay shopping centre and the local media with meetings to take place about six times a year.

The proposals are for a party to be held at least annually, with one event to be held on the first Saturday in September to coincide with the Organ Grinders Festival and Town Criers’ competition.

Cherwell has for the past three years enabled the Old Town Party to take place in June/July through funding and professional arts and events input with about £2,000-£2,500 being given per year through arts and economic development.

But a reduction in Old Town Association volunteers has been putting a heavier burden on remaining members of the association and CDC.

Barry Whitehouse, joint chairman of the Old Town Association, said the town council working even more closely with the association would be great news for the town.

He said: “The party has been getting bigger and better every year and by only a small committee of three it has grown bigger than we can handle. If this happens, the experience and the knowledge of the council in planning town events will be absolutely wonderful. It should make it a proper event like Canal Day and the food fair so it will be really positive for the town and this year’s party is going to be a really good one.”