Circus forced to move by rain cannot open without temporary events licence
The Great British Circus at Cork Lane, Glen Parva
A circus that moved to a new site after its original location flooded has been warned not to operate by a council.
The Great British Circus had a licence to operate in Leicester Road, Glen Parva, for three weeks.
Thursday, May 03, 2012
However, staff were forced to make an emergency evacuation in the early hours on Monday after torrential downpours left them under a foot of water.
They moved to nearby Cork Lane, but have been told by Blaby District Council they can not operate from the site. The authority said although both sites have the same landowner, the circus would need a new temporary events licence to operate there.
Circus staff said the council was being unreasonable.
Ring-mistress Barbara Marquez said: "We are not having a go at anyone personally at the council but we feel like there should be a contingency plan.
"We know a few people aren't happy we have had to move here unexpectedly but it was either that or have us and the animals under a foot of water.
"Most people are actually quite understanding when we explain.
"Ideally we'd like to run it from here for a week while the other land dries out, and then move it down to Leicester Road for the remainder of our time here. But we have been told that we can't do that.
"We have mouths to feed and a business to run."
The council said the circus would need a new licence for each different location.
Jon Wells, the council's manager for regulatory services, said: "We are committed to continue to work with all parties to try to identify a suitable alternative location for the circus.
"We have written to the owner of the circus to advise him that the Cork Lane location is not considered suitable for a circus event.
"If the event goes ahead, this will be treated as an offence under the Licensing Act 2003 on the basis they knowingly allowed an unlicensed activity to take place."
Some residents in Cork Lane objected to the move, while others were more understanding.
A 65-year-old woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: "They have churned up all the grass and made a right mess.
"This is not the location for it."
A 28-year-old male neighbour said: "At first I was a bit concerned, but if they have nowhere else to go I don't object to them just waiting there.
"I'd rather they didn't run it from there but it would be over soon, I suppose."
Staff at the circus said they hoped to move back to the original authorised site at Leicester Road today and start shows on Saturday.
Mrs Marquez said: "We've always had a good reception in Leicester and just want to get on with it.
"The show must go on, as they say."