Anger over mess left by event organisers in Bedford parks

Dogfest Poster Dog Poo bins Russell Park
Dogfest organisers said they had no idea their posters had been used in this way.

Bedfordians on both sides of the town have reacted angrily to mess caused by event organisers, one of which wasn’t even holding an event in the Borough.

The two organisers for Dogfest and the Bedford Cheese and Chilli Festival reacted quickly after being told about the complaints by the Bedford Independent.

Posters for Dogfest, which took place almost 30 miles away in Knebworth, Hertfordshire, were attached to dog poo bins along the Embankment and in Russell Park in early May.

Over two-weeks since the event and the posters were still up and starting to deteriorate.

One local resident said: “The event was over two-weeks ago, how much longer are they going to be there? Maybe they’ll just blow away.”

After being contacted by the Bedford Independent, Dogfest organisers, who said they were surprised to be told their posters had been used in this way, took steps to remove them.

A spokesperson added: “As the event organiser, the brief for our third party supplier was for them to be distributed in cafes, shops and local vets with permission from all property owners.

“We were not aware that the third party supplier, set up by our media buying agency, was going to deviate from the brief and as soon as we were made aware we took action and the posters were removed from the poo bins.

“We are sorry that this took place as this is not our usual way of doing business and we do not approve of this type of marketing for our event.”

A Borough Council spokesperson said: “Our Enforcement Team are investigating, and Fixed Penalty Notices will be issued where appropriate for anyone caught fly-posting in the Borough.

“They will also be required to remove any posters the Council finds. If they fail to do so, the Council will remove and look to recover its costs from the promoter of the event.”

Meanwhile, residents near Bedford Park have spoken of their frustration at litter left behind after the Bedford Cheese and Chilli festival.

On Tuesday morning (28 May) it was found that cable ties that had been used to secure the festival’s perimeter fence were just left on the ground.

Bedford Park user, Emma Johnstone, said: “We love our park and love events but we need the organisers to take responsibility for the environment.”

A spokesperson for the Cheese and Chilli festival, who also expressed frustration at hearing litter had been left, said: “We employ a litter picking company to clear the waste from the site.

“It seems that this area has been overlooked and it is something we should have double checked. We will liaise with the relevant authorities to get this cleared and apologise for inconvenience caused.

“We pride ourselves on leaving venues as we found them, and will obviously make sure this is sorted asap.”

One this issue, a Borough Council spokesperson confirmed that event organisers are responsible for clearing sites after their event and that a council team will carry out checks after any event on council land.

They added that should additional work need to be carried out by the council, these costs are passed onto the event organisers.

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