THE LACK of a Stalybridge Street Fest taking place in October has led to criticism and suggestions it is another sign of ‘Tameside Council being Ashton-centric’.
However, there are conflicting reasons as to why one is not being held at Armentieres Square.
The success of the event, which first took place in 2021, cannot be denied as thousands of people have flocked to the street food vendors.
But as Ashton-under-Lyne’s Fridays on the Square launches, with dates for November and December having already been announced, there was no sight of a date for this month in its neighbouring town.
The Correspondent understands some council members were convinced a Street Fest would take place in October.
And even announcing there will not be one, close to the date one should have been happening, has led to confusion.
Organisers The Market Company commented on social media: “Sadly there won’t be a Street Fest in October nor in December as we haven’t been able to extend the licence.
“We are already working on the licence for 2024 and hope we can continue to bring this award-winning fantastic event on a regular monthly basis throughout the whole of next year.
“Your support and appreciation has been overwhelming.
“Hope you are not too disappointed about this year (we are!)”
However, when asked by The Correspondent, Cllr Eleanor Wills, the driving force behind getting the event started, suggested there was never going to be an October Street Fest.
She said: “I can confirm the details of the programme for Street Fest was always for six events, including the Christmas lights switch on.
“October was not part of the programme of scheduled events. We may well revise this for next year as it’s obvious people want more.
“I have loved seeing the support from our community for street fest and look forward to seeing it long continue.
“It’s so wonderful to see my idea for a street food market for Stalybridge become such a fabulously celebrated event in our town.”
The decision has been slammed by Stalybridge South Conservative Cllr Liam Billington, who said: “Ashton councillors have made it known for some time they wanted Street Fest gone. I’m sorry, but it works in Stalybridge because it’s a nice, little town.”
Street Fest will return on Saturday, November 25, which will see it combined with the town’s Christmas lights switch-on.
And The Market Company added: “We are going out with a bang with the Christmas lights switch-on and the best Street Fest of the year as a combined event.
“The November event should be a fabulous evening and we are really looking forward to seeing you all then.
“Traders are already booking and we are working on some exciting entertainment for everyone.”