A Conservative councillor has sparked a row after comparing thousands of travellers heading to a horse fair in his constituency to a “biblical plague”.
Up to 10,000 people are expected to attend the four day event, which is to be held on land next to Junction 26 of the M1 in Nuthall, Nottinghamshire, later this month.
The festival took place on the same fields without any serious incidents in April and was left in a “spotless” condition, according to its organisers.
But Philip Owen, who represents Nuthall and Kimberley, suggested that the better weather this month means that criminal activity is more likely to take place at the gathering being “imposed” on the local community.
He raised the matter as a “constituency issue” at a Nottinghamshire County Council meeting on Thursday as he claimed a “cloud of fear” was looming in the run up to the event.
Cllr Owen said: “In just over a fortnight’s time there will be a cloud of fear descending over Nuthall. It’s highly likely that shops will be closed, there will be some people who are not prepared to leave their homes.
“Because we are about to be descended on like the proverbial biblical plague by a horse fair, which is not welcome and not wanted.