GUY FAWKES NIGHT FIREWORKS CANCELLED BY WEST DUNBARTONSHIRE COUNCIL

Fireworks

By Lucy Ashton

West Dunbartonshire councillors have agreed to cancel fireworks events in Dumbarton and Dalmuir in November following the introduction of new Covid-19 restrictions.

The decision comes after new guidance was agreed in the Scottish Parliament than means any adult attending a large event from October 1, 2021 will be required to present their vaccine passport before they can be admitted.

The ruling applies to any unseated outdoor live event with more than 4,000 people in the audience, and calls upon organisers to check adults attending have been fully vaccinated.

A report to Council yesterday (Wednesday 29 September), highlighted the challenges the new rules would bring for hosting the firework events. These included the fact that the displays are held in public parks and are historically un-ticketed, and that continuing with the events under the new guidance would require significant additional planning, stewarding, security fencing and higher costs. There was also a concern that due to firework shortages the actual displays may not meet the same high standards of previous years.

A spokesperson for West Dunbartonshire Council said: “Planning for this year’s events was underway and we are  disappointed that we have had to cancel at this stage.

“Unfortunately, to go ahead with the events following the new guidance around Covid passports would require recruitment of additional stewards, hiring of extensive security fencing for both sites, additional risk assessments and new plans for running the event, as well as a larger budget. Given there is such a short timeframe left and a number of competing pressures around Covid-19 recovery this would all be extremely challenging to deliver safely.

“We’re very sorry to our residents, who we know will be disappointed with this news and we very much hope our fireworks events can return next year.”

The Council continues to work in partnership with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to promote safety in the weeks running up to Guy Fawkes Night, which is traditionally one of the busiest periods for the emergency services.

SFRS discourages organising or attending private fireworks displays, and asks residents to avoid setting bonfires.

Any person hosting a private event is strongly encouraged to reduce risks by familiarising themselves with the firework code and fire safety guidance.

Guidance on the safe setting, lighting and disposal of fireworks; use of CE marked fireworks; bonfire safety; keeping a safe distance and supervision of children can be found here: https://www.firescotland.gov.uk/your-safety/fireworks-safety.aspx

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