The Winter Wonderland MK debacle was raised in the House of Commons this week as MP Iain Stewart called for a stronger vetting process for Christmas fairs and festivals.
The MP, who serves Milton Keynes South, was reacting to the Campbell Park event which was cancelled after just one day after failing to live up to the expectations created by a significant advertising campaign.
The event came in for fierce criticism from parents who were particularly furious about the rubbish grotto and Santas, who looked like they had costumes from a ‘pound shop’.
The city hit the national headlines for all the wrong reasons after the failure of the event, with organiser Lorenzo Franco offering his apologies and refunds to the families who booked to visit.
The event had promised ‘an exciting range of activities and attractions to surprise and delight your entire family’, but instead left kids asking their parents what they had done wrong to deserve such a ‘treat’,
Mr Stewart is now calling for a debate on the stringency of the vetting process to make sure the same mistakes are not made again around the country.
Speaking in the Commons, Mr Stewart said: “May we have a debate on the procedures that are in place to vet in advance the credentials of organisations that set up Christmas fairs and festivals?
“My right honourable friend may have seen reports of the problems with Winter Wonderland in Milton Keynes last weekend.
“Although trading standards is now looking into it and people have been promised a refund, it left many families bitterly disappointed, and the local charities that would have benefited from the fair have lost out.”