A WORKING group is to be set up to look into whether it is feasible to site a spring fair away from its current town centre location.

Currently John Newsome, who is a member of the Showman's Guild, sites fairground rides and sideshows on the Galgate car park in Barnard Castle over the annual Meet weekend in May. But this arrangement has met increasing opposition over recent years.

Some members of Teesdale District Council have already expressed concerns at closing the car park on the busiest weekend of the year, with other members having health and safety fears for shoppers with the closeness of the new Safeway store which opens at the end of this month.

But Mr Newsome has always rejected the idea of moving to the Demesnes, which in any case is usually taken up with other activities during Meet weekend.

However, in a bid to settle the debate, Coun William Salvin suggested to members of Teesdale social and environmental scrutiny committee that a working group be set up to see the fair in action this year.

Coun Phil Hughes agreed it was time it was looked into, as long as the group reported back rather than making its own decisions.

"There are a number of other locations near the town centre," he added.

Going on the assumption that members of the group standing for re-election stood a good chance of still being there in May, the committee chose five members - Couns John Hinchcliffe, Jo Fergus, Dreda Forster, William Salvin and Richard Betton - to form the working group.