Safety concerns stop town fireworks show
Published at 20:04, Thursday, 18 September 2008
THE ANNUAL Cockermouth fireworks display will be cancelled this year for health and safety reasons.
The decision was taken by the town council on Wednesday because it was said there was not enough time to carry out all necessary risk assessments.
There was also concern about provision of car parking, traffic jams and people crossing the busy A66, which have been problems in previous years.
The display was scheduled to take place on Sunday, November 2, at the Lakeland Agricultural Centre, just off the Lamplugh Road roundabout.
Councillor Stephen Coates proposed the recommendation.
He said: “We are very sorry that we have had to take this decision but we did not have enough time to get everything sorted.
“It is too hard a job to carry out all the necessary risk assessments and the police find it hard to police the whole thing.
“In the past there have been problems with car parking and the problem of people crossing the busy A66.
“We have discussed about closing the A66 but we did not think this would be feasible considering it is a major trunk road.
“We are determined to find a suitable location for next year’s display though.”
Eric Nicholson said: “We are disappointed that we have had to do this, although it seems to be the way of the world at the moment.
“We have to do a ridiculous amount of risk assessments and in this case we have no time to do all this and get the advice of the police and fire service.
“It is very popular in our programme of events and I think the issue of a new site should be brought up at every meeting until we find a new site.
“I feel the closer to the town centre the display is, the better, as it is putting the people first.
“A lot of people would be walking there and there would not be the problem of car parking and people crossing a busy road.
“Each place has its own problems, but we need to give it serious consideration and find a site where we can carry out a reasonable risk assessment.”
Alan Smith said: “It is very sad that we have had to cancel it as it is one of the main attractions of the year.
“I thought we could have possibly had all the health and safety checks carried out for this year but in the end we have decided it is too dangerous to hold the event.
“However, the council has reluctantly taken the decision to cancel it and we have to make sure that this is the only year it is off.
“I feel we have to search out a new site straight away because of the need to book the fireworks and ask the landowners if we can use their land.”
Sue Hannah, secretary of Cockermouth Partnership, said: “It is a great shame for everybody as it was a fantastic town event, but it is the way society is going at the moment.
“I am not surprised as there have been firework displays cancelled all over the country due to assessments needing to be carried out.”
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
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