Organisers of Harrogate school fundraising event defend venue

Pictured at a previous Oatlands Fest are, from left, Matthew Stamford of Verity Frearson, a Daleside representative, PTA Chair Kathy Abbs, co-organiser John Lister, Partner at Irwin mitchell solicitors Sion Kingston and Vincent Staunton of Daleside.

Pictured at a previous Oatlands Fest are, from left, Matthew Stamford of Verity Frearson, a Daleside representative, PTA Chair Kathy Abbs, co-organiser John Lister, Partner at Irwin mitchell solicitors Sion Kingston and Vincent Staunton of Daleside.

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Organisers of an annual Harrogate fundraising event, which features live music and a bar, has defended the decision to hold it at an infant school.

Organisers of an annual fundraising event, which features live music and a bar, has defended the decision to hold it at an infant school.

Now in its sixth year, Oatlands Fest, which takes place at Oatlands Infant School this Friday and Saturday, is organised for members of the community and parents to raise money for the school.

However, resident Mrs P Waite has raised concerns over noise and whether the venue is appropriate.

In a letter to the Harrogate Advertiser, she said: “This event you have to remember is being held in a school for children aged five to seven. Is it really a appropriate use of a school?

“This weekend we face yet more disruption and noise till at least 1am both evenings.”

Organiser Jake Fox, who stressed that the event only runs until 11pm each night, said: “It is a community event and an important fundraiser for the school. It is as much to integrate the school with the community, as anything else. The obvious place to host such an event is in the school hall. We know community events can divide opinion but we have found we have had very few complaints.”

Mr Fox said the school had made changes to the way the event was run in effort to allay any concerns, including moving the entrance to the event and hiring a sound engineer to monitor noise levels.

He said: “We are conscious of making sure it doesn’t disrupt local residents, but at the same time it is a community event and is attended by a large number of residents, not just teachers or parents.”