Having lived in Colchester for over 50 years, I have enjoyed so many fabulous times in the Castle Park at various events, often taking along a picnic with me.

I would, therefore, have to express my disappointment at the increasing number of events recently which have not allowed any food and drink - a prohibition which has not always been made clear at the point of booking.

I was also mystified by the ban on bringing blankets or rugs to sit on at the recent Tom Jones event.

My husband and I booked tickets for the open air cinema last week. Ahead of the event we received an email indicating that no food or drink could be taken into the event, again this had not been obvious at the point of booking.

When we arrived, it was clear that many people in the queue had brought along picnics, so clearly they were unaware and in one case a gentleman appeared to have an email response to his question, saying that picnics were permitted.

There were many upset and frustrated people and we know of at least two parties who chose not to go into the event.

The assurance that drinking water could be sourced was also dependent upon being able to find somewhere.

In the end one of the stall holders was kind enough to fill my drinking bottle because I was never able to find the water point and security staff were unable to help.

My own view is that this type of ban restricts families on a tight budget who might be able to stretch to purchasing tickets, but may not be able to afford to purchase food and drink at the prices charged.

Moreover, when events are busy, long queues for refreshments build up.

Surely there is scope to allow picnics. Not everyone will bring a picnic so food/drinks stands would still make money, but at least there would be freedom of choice.

I have always felt fortunate to have such a lovely public park in Colchester, therefore, it saddens me to think these seemingly new rules are limiting who is able to afford to attend events held.

I accept Colchester Council will be keen to capitalise on the income generated by private bookings, but feel it would also be in a position to stipulate whether or not the organisers can impose these bans.

Additionally I would say to the organisers that restrictions should be made explicitly clear prior to purchase. It is the security staff on the gates who often bear the brunt of customer frustration.

Liz Goodall