A Herefordshire town has abandoned plans to host an open-air concert to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

A report by Ledbury’s community development officer had said the town council “will be organising and hosting Ledfest, a music festival held on the Recreational Ground on Friday June 3… with a wide range of music”.

Councillors were asked to agree a quote of £1,600 – the only bid that had come forward – to hire an events manager to help put the festival together.

The town’s environment and leisure committee chairman Stephen Chowns said: “We agreed on the committee that it wasn’t practical to at this short notice if we didn’t already have someone to manage it. It was planned as broad-ranging event, but only one artist has agreed to perform.

“A picnic with stalls would be easier for us to arrange at short notice.”

Town clerk Angela Price said: “The chances of us even getting toilets booked at six weeks’ notice – you’re not going to do it.”

To which deputy mayor Coun Phillip Howells added: “And there are a lot of other issues to deal with in six weeks.”

Coun Nick Morris said: “It’s really Coun [Dee] Knight’s baby and she has reservations about this person doing it. I think we have to consider not going ahead with it.”

This was backed unanimously.


Ms Price suggested using some of the money thus saved to pay for children’s outdoor games, holding a fancy-dress competition, and offering grants of up to £100 to those hosting street parties on the Sunday.

Also backing doing “something smaller”, interim community development officer Emma Jackson said that otherwise, “it will be seen that the council aren’t doing anything on Friday because they haven’t worked out what they want to do”.

Coun Gary Troy said: “A party in the park would bring the community together and would be an opportunity for local trades to get involved. But individuals may bring their own alcohol.”

To which Ms Price pointed out: “The Rec is an alcohol-free zone.”

This alternative plan was also backed unanimously.

The council also addressed the town’s current lack of a tourist information centre. A report prepared by Coun Liz Harvey said Herefordshire Council had offered the town a room for rent in the Master’s House on Bye Street for £6,500 a year.

This would then have to be staffed and fitted out, Coun Howells pointed out. “It will cost us a bit before we make any return.”

Coun Troy said: “We need evidence that there is a public need for this. We could spend a lot of taxpayers’ money for something that might not be used.”

But town clerk Angie Price noted: “It’s already past Easter, we need something to cover us for now.”

Councillors therefore approved an interim plan to make tourist information available in the reception of the town council offices in Church Street on weekdays between 10am and 4pm, with display information and leaflets in the library and Heritage Centre for outside of these hours.

They also agreed to “start a dialogue” with the county council on use of the Masters House in the longer term.

Councillors also pledged to have renovation work on the town’s War Memorial completed by Service of Remembrance in November, following an offer to the town of compensation from a contractor whose work on it in 2020 was considered unsatisfactory.

Coun Howells said the latest problem to emerge was that recently laid paving stones on the road side of the memorial “have cracked in the last couple of weeks”.

Councillors agreed to seek heritage specialist Caroe Architecture’s approval to replace these with brick “setts”, which Coun Howells said would be less susceptible to damage.

Planning permission and listed building consent will again be required to further modify the historic memorial – a task which Caroe will now pursue.

Ms Price said a county conservation officer has advised the town council that so long as these permissions are granted by June, the repair works could be carried out soon after, and completed in good time for Remembrance Sunday.