A huge amount of effort goes into the organisation and staging of Carnival in South Somerset.

Young people in particular get great experience and joy out of taking part in the process, learn valuable skills, and contribute to making our area an attractive destination for tourists.

Set up years ago to raise money for hospitals, the Carnival season that all ages enjoy retains its ambition of raising money for charity.

Ilminster retains by far the biggest number of participants in the South Somerset circuit, big efforts are being made to try to revive the Yeovil event, and it'd be great if one day Crewkerne's event could return.

According to the organisers it is getting harder to make the financial numbers work though.

Whether by way of licence fees for third party vendors, extra charges for opening public lavatories, or lack of control of the event being given to the organisers despite their having also to pay big licence fees, it seems the Council is constantly looking for ways to milk these events for more revenue.

When the remaining organisers are beginning to question whether it is worth it because of this, as the charities are seeing little benefit for all of the community's hard work, it seems the attitude of the Council is really wrong-headed.

To me it's silly to risk the disappearance of such a distinctive and popular feature of South Somerset because our Council doesn't seem to want to enable and encourage the community's efforts, all for the sake of a few hundred pounds of fees.

The impact if Ilminster were to pull out of its event, for example, would have a knock-on effect on Chard, and efforts everywhere else.

This sits especially badly with me when I know that the District Council is sitting on over £30 million pounds of our public money in the bank, and there are numerous ways in which it could be financially more efficient.

There are lots of good people in the Council organisations but I think sometimes the management and political leadership of these places lose their way and somehow "can't see the wood for the trees".

I think this is one of those instances.

I would like to see this changed so that charges from all Councils for these events are reduced dramatically or abolished, and the organisers who pay licence fees are given much more say, for example over the quality of third party stall operators.

I will do what I can to make this happen. Public organisations need to remember - as many do - that they are there to serve the public and help them achieve their aims - not get in the way, or exist for their own sake.

Lastly, do get out there and support your Carnival organisations through their various fundraising events.

I know that it's been hot and beautiful on our stunning British island recently, but the Ilminster Carnival's fun quiz that I took part in last Thursday could have had a few more teams, and need to keep showing that we want Carnival to survive.

Marcus Fysh is a Parliamentary Candidate for the Yeovil Constituency in next year's General Election.

Contact Marcus: www.marcusfysh.org.uk


Facebook MarcusFyshForYeovil

Twitter @MarcusFysh