Town council set to relax bouncy castle ban


- Credit: Archant

Huntingdon Town Council has overturned its temporary ban on bouncy castles following discussions with its insurance company.

Last year the authority decided to prohibit inflatables on its land, both indoors and out, following the death of seven-year-old Summer Grant in Harlow, Essex, but, at a council meeting on April 20, members were informed of the reversal.

The council’s new inflatable policy has been strengthened to ensure that events are “both enjoyable and safe”, and will have to be followed by inflatable company owners.

At the meeting, town clerk Philip Peacock said that any company looking to set up on town council land must adhere to the play inflatable inspection scheme, PIPA, to ensure the highest standards.

“The inflatable must have two people, preferably three, to run it because if someone needs to go for refreshments and asks a town council staff member to manage it then it makes the town council responsible,” Mr Peacock said.

“We can’t be held responsible for someone else’s activity or event.”

In April last year the council was advised by its insurance company that the authority would be 41 per cent liable if an incident happened.

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Within the council’s policy it states: “If the inflatable play equipment is not well-managed and supervised, there is a high risk of serious injuries especially from individuals bouncing off the inflatable onto the ground, knocking into other objects and people or by falling awkwardly.”

Following the introduction of the ban last year, the authority was criticised by the owner of an inflatables company who called the decision “completely unnecessary”.

At the time Mark Wimbleton, who owns Kool Bouncers, told The Hunts Post: “I don’t see their rationale in putting through the temporary ban but I know that it will certainly have an affect on people within the trade as they won’t be able to work on land owned by the town council this summer and the people that enjoy using the inflatables.”

Summer 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, last year.