Councillors have voted in support of a car rally taking place around Tendring next month.
The Corbeau Seats Rally Tendring and Clacton, organised by Chelmsford Motor Club, is set to take place on Sunday, April 22. It will see competitors take on three laps of a five-stage course against the clock on closed public roads around the District.
A motion was put before a full meeting of Tendring District Council (TDC) last night calling on the authority to publicly state that it does not support or endorse such events.
However, councillors did not vote in favour of it, and the motion was not carried.
Neil Stock, TDC Leader, said while the Council is not organising and has not sanctioned the event, the authority has been involved and supportive from the outset.
Addressing both the motion, and three questions from members of the public which raised concerns about the rally, Cllr Stock said it was natural to be worried about events of this kind.
“I do recognise the concerns expressed by some people about the rally, accept motorsport is not to everyone’s taste, and that roads being closed can be disruptive,” he said.
“We have no power to prevent it, but it is right and proper that these things are brought to the organisers’ attention to make sure they are addressed.
“It is not a Tendring District Council event, we have not proposed it and we have not organised it. But TDC has been involved right from the get-go with this event, to make sure that residents’ voices are heard by liaising with Chelmsford Motor Club, and to be assured that the rally is being organised properly and to the highest standards.
“This event is using brand new legislation, written specifically to address the sort of concerns raised. Working with the Chelmsford Motor Club – as we do with the organisers of around ten larger-scale events in our District each year – and alongside our partners at Essex County Council and in the blue light services, we have been providing advice and can be assured everything necessary is in place.
“We must also consider the benefits to Tendring. These are not only as a direct result of the rally, with the economic boost of the teams, organisers, media and spectators all coming to our District, but also indirect – raising the profile of Tendring and putting it on the map, showcasing our beautiful countryside and coastal resorts and encouraging visitors to come year-round.
“I will continue to support such events and urge residents to do the same.”
He added that he understood the Motor Sport Association would be reviewing Tendring’s event before granting permission for any others.
“As well as the usual Safety Advisory Group debrief I think we should take the debrief to a scrutiny committee, listening to residents to see if it was as bad as they feared, and if it is not good for Tendring then I will be the first to lead the charge to make sure it does not happen again.”