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Ulverston Carnival freezes out ice cream seller

AN ICE cream vendor frozen out of this year’s Ulverston Carnival has accused the organising committee of failing to support local businesses.

50033726B002.jpg ice cream
TOUGH TIMES: Rob Turnbull won’t be allowed to sell ice cream at Ulverston Carnival because organisers have hired a Yorkshire-based firm instead MILTON HAWORTH REF: 50033726B002

Robbie’s Ices proprietor Rob Turnbull is demanding answers after organisers again engaged the services of a Yorkshire-based ice cream operation.

For three years Mr Turnbull has been selling ice creams in Ulverston from his van and said it is ludicrous he cannot work at the annual carnival.

He said: “I’m the only ice cream van in Ulverston and I travel from Barrow seven days a week – rain, hail or shine – and when the biggest day of the year comes around they get someone in from Yorkshire.

“I don’t understand why they get someone from Yorkshire when the carnival is supposed to be all about promoting local businesses.”

In 2010, Mr Turnbull stepped in at the last minute to work at the carnival after the same Yorkshire operator withdrew at short notice.

However, the following year the committee decided to give the Yorkshire firm another chance.

Mr Turnbull, who supports his partner and their two-year-old child, said he was simply “trying to survive” in the difficult economic climate.

He said: “It’s really depressing. “It’s very hard to make a living at the moment, especially with the price of diesel shooting up.

“This should be my biggest day of the year but I’m not even allowed in the carnival area.”

In a statement, the carnival committee declined to be drawn into specifics on Mr Turnbull’s complaint, but defended its handling of the matter.

“The ice-cream and mobile catering trades are extremely competitive, with large numbers of businesses in our local area.

“We have tried to follow a consistent policy similar to many other outdoor events and have recently reaffirmed this.

“Each trader has a different way of looking at this and what best suits themselves. We cannot please everyone.

“Traders are free to book any of the other pitches available in the town on carnival day managed by others.”

Have your say

Ok James,good point dear,understanding you now,though I don't know why you brought that great man Mr Marx into it given the divides that clearly exist between the petty bourgeoisie who tend to wear rose tinted specs.

Posted by Daniella on 30 May 2012 at 12:38

Daniella – I think that you have missed the point that I was making. This debate has been focused on the support given to local businesses by the carnival committee, but it could just as reasonably be framed in reverse: why are local businesses, (such as Mr Turnbull), not supporting their local carnival by bidding more for the tender? Why are we not vilifying Mr Turnbull for putting his own profit margin before the good of the community for one day of the year? Clearly, the Yorkshire company considered a higher bid a financially worthwhile proposition, given their higher travelling expenses. There is no neo-Marxist class conspiracy at play here: it is a simple matter of rational best-value economics.

Posted by James Buchanan on 30 May 2012 at 08:57

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