Community groups in St Ives have been reminded to pay close attention to health and safety at public events, after concerns were raised at a meeting of the town council.
During a public participation item, events organiser Mathew Setchell told St Ives Town Council urgent changes were needed to prevent accidents in the town, such as storing away cables and moving generators.
“All I want to do is fix the problems,” he said. “The stage at this year’s
Christmas lights switch-on was impeccable, as it always is, because it has professionals behind it and that’s their job.
“In the rest of the town, in my opinion, you can see it’s not hard to protect cables, and the distribution panels were unlocked for the second year running.
“It’s a joke and if we ran our business like that, we wouldn’t have one.”
Councillors agreed health and safety in the town was important, but Councillor Debbie Townsend, mayor of St Ives, reminded the chamber that the body was only
responsible for its events.
She said: “It [the town] is a public place with many events and I think that it would be very difficult for us to police and judge and jury every event that goes on. I think we need to trust our community groups to get on with it.
“There’s so much red tape and we’ve tried to stop that, and now we’re chucking more red tape in.”
Others, however, argued the town council had a duty to get involved.
“It’s all very good talking about events being run by the town council or not run by the town council, but when it comes down to it it’s on our watch and I consider we are custodians of all that happens in St Ives whatever,” Councillor John Tiddy said.
The council voted to welcome Mr Setchell’s offer of advice for event management to groups, with all but one member agreeing to the proposal.
It was also decided that community groups should be reminded of the importance of completing their own risk assessments before events.