Hastings MP Amber Rudd has written to Jack in the Green organiser Keith Leech and the Hastings May Day Run motorcycle event organiser to pledge: “Please be assured I will do all within my power to lobby Government to keep May 4 as a bank holiday.”
The MP says she has written to both the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Culture Jeremy Wright to make them aware of the problems facing event organisers locally.
Amber acknowledged that road closures for the events had already been organised and paid for and that many people had already booked accommodation for the weekend.
In the letter, seen by the Hastings Observer, she wrote: “The May Day Run has been a massive spontaneous event for the past 40 years and is worth an estimated £2 million to the local economy. It attracts 40,000 motorcycle enthusiasts to the town.
“It is also the case that thousands more people line the streets to participate in the big procession through the Old Town, with people coming from miles around each year.
“I believe that the sudden disruption of this very popular and successfully managed event at such short notice, or alternatively adding another level of VE Day events into the traditional Jack in the Green and motorcycle rally, could catastrophically overstretch the resources of event organisers, the police, council and other services.
“In addition, the traditional carnival atmosphere would hardly be appropriate to a backdrop against which to respectfully celebrate VE Day.
“People have asked me to do all in my power to ensure that we retain the May 4 bank holiday and add Friday May 8 as an additional bank holiday for VE Day.”
To sign the petition visit www.petition.parliament.uk/petitions and search for Keep May 4th as a bank holiday