CHRISTCHURCH meadow has been left damaged after a beer festival six weeks ago, despite the organisers paying the council £960 for repairs.

A metal road is laid down on the meadow each year for tents and drinks to be delivered to the Reading Beer & Cider Festival, organised by the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra).

This year’s festival ended on May 5, however the metal road has left damage to the meadow still visible today.

After last year’s festival, Reading Borough Council sent Camra an invoice in October for £960 to pay for repairs to the meadow. Camra paid the council on November 7, responses to freedom of information requests show.

But the council never repaired the damage and also did not refund Camra the £960. However, it anticipates repairing the ground after this year’s festival by ‘the end of June’.

The freedom of information requests were sent by Jason Collie, a junior football coach. He said: “These events are great but the council is utterly negligent in allowing a three-and-a-half day festival to leave our parks damaged for the following 361 days.

“The council is far more concerned with hawking out its park for a few extra pounds, and that it has a total disregard for the residents whom it is supposed to be providing leisure services to all year round.”

A council spokesman said: “The reinstatement works following the 2018 Camra Real Ale festival were limited as the weather and ground conditions following the event did not allow all the required works to be completed.

“It was agreed with Camra that the £960 they paid last year would be used as a credit towards any work that was required following the 2019 event.

“The council aims to carry out the restitution of grounds after use for events as quickly as possible and as such organisations pay fees to help the council to implement these works.

“Following this year’s festival, the parks team have assessed its impact on the grounds and will be undertaking reinstatement works as soon as possible with an anticipated completion date of the end of June.”

Mr Collie said: “We’ve seen the council promise it was going to carry out repairs several times before, so people can judge that on their record.

“It is little short of nonsense for the council to … claim the weather prevented any repairs for an entire year. A whole 12 months?”