The Bradley Stoke Fireworks Display, held annually at the Jubilee Centre, may have to move to another site if health and safety concerns arising from the large attendance cannot be resolved, the Town Council heard last week.
Crowds at the event reached five to six thousand in 2009, when numbers were swelled due to the cancellation of the popular Clifton Downs display and similar numbers were seen at this year’s renewal.
Cllr Mark Forsyth, Senior Health and Safety Officer for this year’s event, warned that the event had “become too successful for its own good”, adding: “We could have ended up with a ‘situation'”.
Councillors heard that the need to keep crowds off the public roads surrounding the venue led to a potential over-crowding issues within the car park of the Jubilee Centre.
Although the artificial pitch at the site had been made available to spectators, there were insufficient marshals to guide people in there, claimed one Councillor.
Summing up, Cllr Forsyth said:
“With my health and safety hat on, I wouldn’t do it again. That’s my professional advice.”
Options discussed for resolving the issue included rearranging the site layout, so that access to the venue could be properly controlled, or moving the event to another site.
Suggested alternative venues included the grounds of Bradley Stoke Community School and the Trench Lane car boot sale site.
It was eventually agreed that a meeting be set up in the New Year between the firework company, the event management company and Council officers.
This year’s firework display raised approximately £3,800 for the Mayor’s charity, St Peter’s Hospice.
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