Reactions to health and safety ban for Burnham's Jubilee bunting
County Council has been criticised for banning patriotic Jubilee
bunting from being hung on lamp posts along Burnham-On-Sea High
Street due to health and safety concerns.
first reported here
that Burnham Chamber of Trade had hoped to install several hundred
metres of bunting between lighting columns and shops in the town
centre to add a splash of colour during the Queen's Jubilee celebrations.
the group has been told that a number of risk assessments would
have to be carried out and that the lamp posts would have to be
stress-tested before the bunting could be hung up due to concerns
it come down on pedestrians below.
Walter of Burnham Chamber of Trade told Burnham-On-Sea.com:
"Personally, I am disappointed that the County Council feels
there is a need to stress test lamp posts for something as lightweight
as bunting just because there are concerns the bunting might blow
down onto pedestrians. What damage can a bit of string and plastic
County Council said in a statement on Thursday: "Somerset
County Council is very happy to help local councils put up bunting
to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee and other events. We recommend
councils use their existing fixing points for Christmas lights,
CCTV cameras or such like. Two years ago a lamppost came down
in London, killing a child, and it's important we avoid a similar
tragedy in Somerset."
Hackitt from the Chair of the Health and Safety Executive
said: "This is a classic case of health and safety being
used totally inappropriately as an excuse for excessively risk
averse behaviour. Hanging lightweight bunting from lamp posts
is a low risk activity and to suggest that it may cause lampposts
to fall over is ridiculous. The case in London that the county
council refers to is one that involved work-related activity.
I can categorically say that it was nothing whatsoever to do with
bunting and it is wholly inappropriate to link the two situations.
Let's be clear, theres nothing in health and safety law
to prevent anyone from celebrating the Queens Jubilee. The
Diamond Jubilee should be a huge national event, a time for celebrating
together, getting a real sense of community going, up and down
the country not for getting tied up in pointless red tape.
The organisers are right to challenge this silly decision."
MP Tessa Munt told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "I have spoken
to the SCC Transport Manager and SCC Senior Highways Officer asking
why we have to stress test street lamps to have bunting attached.
When I get a sensible answer I will let everyone know."
Ken Smout added: "Our clerk contacted Somerset County
Council who said it was not safe to hang the bunting from the
is a shame we cannot hang the bunting from the lampposts and it
does seem a bit like health and safety gone mad. We wanted to
do something which had a big visual impact in the town. But the
posts are the responsibility of the highways authority and that
is their decision. There are lots of things going on in Burnham
to mark the jubilee and we will not allow the bunting issue to
Peter Burridge-Clayton told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "I have
looked in to this issue and it would seem there seems to be some
confusion regarding certain facts. Anybody that wishes to attach
anything to lighting columns be it hanging baskets, bunting or
such like would require a license. In this case no license has
been applied for. A wrong assumption was made that this bunting
could be attached without the permission of SCC. We will be in
discussion with the Chamber of Trade, the Town Council and SCC
officers in the next few days and I am sure the bunting will be
up well before the events start. There are height restrictions
regarding bunting over a footway but I am sure there are numerous
anchor points that will overcome these restrictions. The Christmas
lighting doesn't seem to be a problem so I can see no reason why
these anchor points could not be used."
Councillor Phil Harvey added: "This is crazy. Stress
testing the lamp posts would obviously cost considerably more
than the bunting itself. It's important that the town centre should
look as welcoming as possible during the Jubilee."
Chamber of Trade is now planning to hang 750 metres of bunting
along the fronts of buildings along parts of the High Street,
College Street and Victoria Street instead. The lighting columns
in Burnham High Street are due to be replaced with modern new
lamp posts later this year. As recently reported here,
Burnham will not be entering the Britain In Bloom competition
this year due to restrictions on flower baskets being hung from
the lamp posts.
Complete guide to Jubilee
celebrations in Burnham and Highbridge