The Cathaoirleach of the Municipal District of Bray, John Brady has said the Bray Summerfest is an important event for the people and economy of Bray that needs to continue. He stated that he will persevere to find a path to ensure the Summerfest can forge ahead with their plans and that the concerns of local residents and Councillors regarding duration, openness and transparency are addressed.
Cllr Brady said "Over the last number of weeks there has been concern and unfortunately some misinformation regarding the Summerfest following a decision that was taken by the local authority in Bray to reduce the number of days the funfair is permitted to use the publicly owned lands on the seafront. I fully support and commend the volunteers who have done and will continue to do fantastic work to promote Bray in a festival that is estimated by them to be worth up to €8m to the local economy. A proposal was put forward by Cllr Matthews to reduce the number of days for the funfair from 23 to 15 and to ensure there is full openness and transparency regarding the tendering of the seafront land and the use of substantial amounts of funding from the council. This was on foot of requests from local residents and a petition containing over 1200 signatures. The majority of Councillors supported that proposal."
"The decision to reduce the funfair does not effect the duration of the Summerfest and is only due to come into effect next year in 2016 giving over 12 months to address issues such as funding. There is no reason why the Summerfest cant continue this year as it has done in the past. On foot of requests for openness and transparency from Councillors surrounding the use of public funding and the seafront i have requested as Cathaoirleach information from the committee that hopefully will be forthcoming in the near future. I am certainly not questioning anyone involved in the executive of Summerfest regarding funding, but there needs to be full accountability. Over the last 10 years well over €600,000 in funding has come from the local authority and from payments directly to the Summerfest committee from the funfair operators for the use of the Seafront. To protect the good names of all involved in the committee and for the use of public finances a full open and transparent system needs to be put in place and i make no apologies in seeking that."
Cllr Brady concluded "I have meet with members of the executive of the Summerfest twice over the last couple of weeks. I believe there is the basis of a good resolution to this current impasse that will ensure the good work of the festival continues, the concerns of the local residents are addressed and there is full openness and transparency surrounding the tendering process for the use of the Seafront by commercial interests and the publication of full audited accounts. I look forward to hosting representatives from the Summerfest when they address the next meeting of the council and to working with them and others in finding a solution to continue to promote Bray in a positive fashion."