Chiefs at Southend Borough Council have admitted that they are in a state of ‘extreme panic’ after a campaign group was set up to save the annual Southend Carnival Fair at Chalkwell Park. 

According to an inside council source, bosses are terrified that the people leading the campaign are going to come up with a sensible, efficient and genuinely achievable way of staging this year’s event. 

Our source said: ‘Within just a few minutes of the cancellation being announced, a spreadsheet was produced with clear and incredible data to show how the Carnival Fair could work for the council, organisers, ride owners and charities.’

‘The USB stick was quickly captured and thrown into the back of a Veolia refuse truck.’

In another late development, Save Southend Carnival Fair leader Henrietta Pancetta announced that a number of local businesses had come forward and offered financial support and sponsorship so that event can go ahead.

She added: ‘It’s an incredibly frustrating process. We keep hearing revised figures about how much the amount will cost in terms of health and safety and associated costs.’

‘Every time we get an increased estimate, we obtain extra sponsorship pledges and the estimate just goes up again. It’s like someone is looking down on us from way up high and mocking us.’

Carol Christmas has been visiting the Carnival Fair for the last 20 years, and she is disappointed about today’s announcement. 

She said: ‘The Carnival Fair is a lot of fun for families, it brings a lot of visitors to the area and it generally benefits local traders as well.’

‘The people of Southend and the surrounding areas love visiting the annual event, but I have heard that a year-round funfair takes place either side of Southend Pier.’

‘Perhaps they could just go and visit that one instead.’