The borough council has come under fire after confirming Stevens Fun Fair will no longer be allowed to open annually in Cassiobury Park.

Many residents fumed last week after hearing the popular fair can now only open there every other year after decades of annual events.

The fair was told last July and has been offered any other park for non-Cassiobury years but organisers fear they are not as suitable.

The council has since confirmed it is holding a festival for Watford’s borough centenary in the park on June 4 – though it is understood to be unrelated to the alternate years decision. 

Watford Observer: The fair will no longer be allowed to open in Cassiobury Park every year. Picture: Stevens Fun Fair.The fair will no longer be allowed to open in Cassiobury Park every year. Picture: Stevens Fun Fair.

Thrill-seekers vented frustration online with one fuming “fun police at it again” while others wrote “absolutely ridiculous” and “big, big shame”.

Gill Ellis commented: “When you consider it’s 10 days out of 365, it’s not a lot to ask is it?

“The fair is part of Watford’s history, people need to enjoy themselves, and it’s a celebratory year in many respects, so why put a damper on what is a great source of entertainment for many people?”

Hundreds of readers voted in a Watford Observer poll with 78 per cent saying it should be held annually in Cassiobury.

Watford Labour’s leader, councillor Nigel Bell, questioned why there wasn’t a public consultation.

“So many Watford families are disappointed to say the least and it seems to go against any kind of transparency about decisions made by local government,” he added.

Organiser Charmaine Stevens said they are not sure what will happen this year and will have to assess the available sites.

“I’m really disappointed that the council haven’t changed their minds because we could work with them in any way they like.

Watford Observer: Charmaine Stevens said she is "disappointed" with the council's decision.Charmaine Stevens said she is "disappointed" with the council's decision.

“We could cut the time down or move to a smaller area of Cassiobury.

“We could have a meeting with them just to discuss it.”

Councillor Tim Williams said: “We are really clear that there will be the same number of large events and attractions in Cassiobury Park this year, with a tremendous amount going on for people to enjoy, particularly through the spring and summer months. 

"We are certainly not ending the fun fair’s history in Watford.

"We know from taking some of our own events into other parks across the town that they are great venues and work really well so we do hope our offer to use another of our outstanding parks is accepted.”