Why the fun has gone out of Leven fair for operator

John Carter may have to cancel his visit to Leven Prom in 2013 after coming the area for 33 years
John Carter may have to cancel his visit to Leven Prom in 2013 after coming the area for 33 years
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A businessman who has been visiting Leven Promenade for three decades may not return this year 2013 after Fife Council increased his rates.

John Carter has brought kids funfair rides tot he seafront for 33 years but told the Mail he is having to consider whether it will be worth returning.

Mr Carter, who hails from Glasgow, said he had been trying to keep things going for the past few years, but it had become more and more difficult.

“Leven was great in its heyday,” he said, “but the last two or three years have just been a disaster.

“Right now, I’m trying to figure out what to do and whether it is even worth me coming through. I just don’t know what to do.”

Mr Carter usually arrives in Leven around May after touring other parts of the country.

“We used to come to Leven and stay for a month or so, but as time went on, we decided that it might just be best to stay here for the full three months over summer,” said Mr Carter.

“In the beginning, the rent was around £400, but then it went up to £600 and, just last year, I was hit with a bill for nearly £2000.

“I spoke to the local MP and we were able to get it down to £700, but this year, I have been told I have to pay £890 plus £150 legal fees. “

Mr Carter continued: “It’s a lot of money to put out - I’ve got fuel to get through to Leven, tax, insurance, plus the rent.

“I was well out of pocket last year.

“It’s a shame because I love coming to Leven, I’ve got to know the people here, but this is really putting me out of business.”

Local councillor John O’Brien is saddened by the situation.

“It’s a real shame that this is happening because we need people like Mr Carter to come to Leven - we want to attract business to the area.

“I for one would like to see the shows back on the Prom again and hopefully the Council can do something to accommodate him.”

Peter Howden, development manager with Fife Council’s parks and countryside team, said the rates which have been set for Mr Carter are fair.

“Fife Council has a duty to treat all rent payers fairly and to get best value for all council assets.

“It is normal practice to charge a commercial rental for any site we lease for traders and this site is no different.”