Rally bosses banned from park by Flower Show

10th January 2019

“After 50 years, Woodvale Rally Board have been forced to cancel the 2019 Rally on Victoria Park, Southport, and any other rallies in the future.

We were informed by Andrew Edwards, the Southport Flower Show (SFS) Chairman in October 2018, that due to an incident concerning a fairground ride that occurred during the set up of the rally, the Trustee’s of the Southport Flower Show Company have taken the decision not to allow the Rally to be held on Victoria Park again.

Several times we asked for meetings with SFS to discuss the reasons for the exclusion all without an answer until we were informed finally by letter on 5th December by Mr Edwards that there would be no meetings and no further correspondence would be answered. We have been accused, convicted and excluded without a fair hearing.

Councillor Pugh met with Mr Edwards and others from SFS, on 21st November 2018 to put forward our case, to no avail. We asked Sefton Council for assistance but were informed by them that the running of VP was leased to SFS and we would need to deal with them.

Over the last 7 years, we have built our event around the park facilities, benefitting local hotels, restaurants and traders. We provided entertainment and facilities for 1000s of visitors, all profits going to local charities. To move it elsewhere is impractical and would incur huge financial loss. We, therefore, see no alternative but to cancel 2019 and any further shows.

We believe Victoria Park should be not be run by a vested interest with the ability to penalise others and make money for a private company from a public asset. The decision to exclude us from the park is not in the interests of the residents and public but is driven by the desire to turn the park into a Caravan Site, which is not what was intended when the park was gifted to the people of Southport.

Because of the above events, we will send copies of this notice to all Sefton Councillors and Southport Damien Moore MP. We call on Sefton Council to institute a full public enquiry into the mismanagement of Victoria Park, and the false accusations levelled against us.”

Statement on behalf of the Board of Woodvale Rally Ltd.