Exmouth carnival WILL go ahead this year and it is all thanks to the dogged determination of one man and the county council.
Brixington man Gavin Roberts, 42, has proved to be the saviour of Exmouth’s 2019 carnival because of his single-minded resolve to make the event happen – with the help of Devon County Council (DCC) pushing through road closure paperwork in record time.
Thanks to Gavin’s persistence and county council highways officers, Exmouth’s carnival is set to go ahead on Saturday, October 12, at 7.30pm.
Gavin, of Cheriswood Avenue, put himself in the hot seat as a first-time carnival organiser when it was recently announced Exmouth’s illuminated procession was cancelled for the second year running.
Gavin worked alongside officers from Devon County Council in a bid to bring the autumn fun back to Exmouth.
He hopes to join Exmouth carnival committee and help organise future processions.
Gavin said: “It’s been non-stop. I am glad it’s paid off. It’s been worth every minute.
“I am stepping in purely as a community member – as somebody living in Exmouth.
“I am totally inexperienced of carnival or organising events of this scale. The biggest thing I have organised is a surprise birthday party in my house.
“Hopefully people on the night appreciate it and support it.
“I am hoping it goes without any glitches and the weather holds out, but that part of it is out of my control, but if it was, it would at least be dry.”
Carnival fan Gavin teamed up with DCC highways officers, working together to complete road closure paperwork that normally takes months of work to perfect.
Devon County Councillor Richard Scott said highways officers stepped in to help Exmouth turn around its carnival disappointment, guiding Gavin and pushing through required paperwork.
Cllr Scott said ‘unsuitable’ road closure applications received by Devon County Council meant earlier attempts to hold Exmouth carnival were refused.
He said months of work to arrange the traffic orders were condensed into weeks by DCC officers going the extra mile.
Cllr Scott said: “In reality our officers have excelled – their diligence to see this through when in reality they didn’t need to. It’s an example of what Devon County Council is capable of when it needs to do something.
“It’s been months of work for the county council. In my view the officers have gone above and beyond in their job, what they are expected to do, to make sure this carnival takes place. They would not be expected to do it again.”
On carnival night council contracted road workers, from Skanska, will give their time for free, organsing procession road closures, diversions and traffic management.
- Exmouth illuminated carnival, on Saturday, October 12, 2019, leaves Marine Way at 7.30pm. It follows the route, Exeter Road, The Parade, Imperial Road, ending back at Marine Way.