A CLEVELAND parish council has lost patience over the impact of an ancient fair on its community.

Egglescliffe says it has had enough of problems linked to the annual Yarm fair in October.

At a special meeting next month, representatives will for the first time demand to be fully involved in arrangements for the event.

Councillors have reported chaos with showmen's and visitors' vehicles parked on roads in their area. The problems were more severe than at any time in the past, says the council.

The chairman of Yarm Town Council admits there were more difficulties than usual during this year's event. "So I felt it was only right that Egglescliffe should be involved in the de-briefing session," said Coun Liz Marsden.

Egglescliffe council clerk Mrs Helen Rennison said representatives would join delegates from Yarm and Stockton councils, police and showmen's guild at the meeting on December 4.

"We do not feel the police had control of the traffic situation leading up to the fair," she said. "Vehicles should not have been allowed into Egglescliffe, yet people started parking here from 9am onwards and it was chaos."

Egglescliffe will now insist on being fully consulted from the outset for next year's fair.

Mrs Rennison said it had been suggested that fair vehicles could wait in laybys on the A67 or on the wide verges of that road. Preston Park could be used as a waiting area.

The parish will also request no-waiting bollards at areas which suffer most, such as Butts Lane. Egglescliffe will also press for a park-and-ride system for the duration of the fair.

"We are trying to be constructive but members have been angry over this year's event," said Mrs Rennison. "This was the worst year so far and we are not prepared to sit back and see events repeated next year."

Coun Marsden said she could understand Egglescliffe's concerns.

"It was bad this year," she said. "There were so many fair people coming into town early for a special christening and because Appleby fair had been cancelled.

"The High Street was choc-a-bloc but that's what it's all about.

"We are not obliged to consult Egglescliffe but felt it was in order as they got the backlash.

"There is only a river between us. It is their fair as much as ours, they support it and so have a right to a say."

She insisted the event was not getting out of hand. "The people of Yarm love the fair. It is a big occasion for them," she said.

Traders regularly complain of losing business as the High Street is closed for the fair; some close down for the duration.

But Coun Marsden said: "Traders don't have to close for a week. Some stayed open and did well out of people visiting the fair.

"I love the fair. To see the children's eyes when the caravans move in is wonderful. There is something magical about it. Fairyland comes to town.

"I know there are problems but it is only three days a year and I think it is worth it.

"But the issue will be thrashed out as we clearly need to look at the whole situation.