Authority set to vote on proposal to temporarily ban bouncy castles from council-owned land

Huntingdon mayor, Councillor Bill Hensley

Huntingdon mayor, Councillor Bill Hensley - Credit: Archant

The mayor of Huntingdon says a bouncy castle ban would be “an overreaction” as town council members prepare to vote on the use of inflatables on council-owned land.

The proposal, set out for members to decide on at a full council meeting tomorrow (April 20), would see a temporary ban on inflatables, including bouncy castles, on Huntingdon Town Council-owned land following the death of Summer Grant in Harlow, Essex, last month.

The seven-year-old died after suffering serious injuries when the bouncy castle she was playing on was blown 500ft in strong winds at Harlow Town Park on March 26.

Ahead of the meeting, Councillor Bill Hensley told The Hunts Post: “Personally I think it is a bit of an overreaction as safety to date in this country has not been an issue. It really needs really bit of common sense with the operator who is running it.

“There just needs to be common sense and possibly watching the weather forecast to see if there is going to be strong winds and an anemometer reading carried out before any events.”

The recommendation for a short-term ban has been put forward after council officers were advised by the authority’s insurance company that the council would be liable if an incident happened.

If the proposal to ban is given the go ahead, it would stop inflatables being allowed at events including Unity in the Community and the Medway Summer Gala until the findings of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation in Summer’s death are published – expected to be later in the year.

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Cllr Hensley said: “I don’t think it going to have that much of an issue because common sense will prevail; I think we will be enjoying the inflatables at the events as always.”

Once the outcome of the HSE investigation is published, new council policy may have to be adopted before inflatables can be used again on council land.

Cllr Hensley added: “The council will investigate all of the possibilities before coming to a decision.”