Jack-in-the-Green saved

Amber Rudd and May Day supporters at April 2011 protest against moving the bank holiday
Amber Rudd and May Day supporters at April 2011 protest against moving the bank holiday
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THE May Day bank holiday will not be moved, according to tourism minister John Penrose, meaning organisers of the famous Jack-in-the-Green festival can breath a sigh of relief.

A government proposal early last year to move the holiday to a date in October was met by fierce local opposition over fears that Hastings would face a huge dent to tourism, and Jack-in-the-Green would be no more.

The minister indicated that the government would be guided by the results of a public consultation.

Hastings MP Amber Rudd got behind the campaign to keep the May Day Bank Holiday, and last April organised for a delegation from Hastings, including Morris dancers, may queens, and drummers, to hand over a petition signed by almost 5,000 people opposing the change, to Mr Penrose.

She said: “A triumph for Hastings and for common sense. It was a team effort from many of us in Hastings, and I think it was the dancing on the College Green opposite the House of Commons that won it!”

Chairman of the Jack-in-the-Green celebrations, which see thousands flock to Hastings, said: “It is fantastic news for Hastings.

“The contingency plan was that the whole thing would have been cut down and been a shadow of its former self.

“A big thanks to Amber Rudd for organising the protest.”