Red tape causes end for fireworks
‘ONEROUS licensing requirements’ have led to a community fireworks display being cancelled after more than a decade.
Ballachulish Community Council has announced the village fireworks will be cancelled this year because of too much paperwork following the council’s introduction for such events to have public entertainment licences.
In January, the Highland Council instigated a requirement for fireworks displays to have a public entertainment licence.
Chairman of Ballachulish Community Council Kevin Smith told the Lochaber Times the community is going to have to cancel the event at Ballachulish Quarry for 2017 because of ‘more onerous licensing requirements that were not previously required for small community events’.
He said: ‘We have been looking at all the paperwork for over a year and have sadly concluded the additional requirements, both in terms of associated costs and additional man hours, make it impossible to continue at the present time to meet the Highland Council time frame for licenced events this year.’
Mr Smith said the fireworks have been a ‘great community event’ over the past decade and thanked everyone for their help.
The council’s licensing com- mittee agreed to the changes in September.
It stated public fireworks displays are required to hold a licence where there is no admission fee or charge. Previously, a licence was only required when there was a charge to view or take part.
A council spokesperson said: ‘Following a public consultation on a number of proposed changes to public entertainment licence activities, including a proposal to extend the activity of public fireworks displays to include those for which there was no charge to the public, the Highland Licensing Committee considered the feedback from this consultation and at its meeting on August 11 2015, agreed to propose to amend its licensing resolution to include public fireworks displays for which there was no charge to the public.
‘In response to the consultation, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service advised that it agreed and supported the proposal as any increased scrutiny and compliance would almost certainly have a direct impact in increasing public safety which directly aligns with the objectives of its service.
‘The licensing of this activity will ensure the relevant health and safety aspects, risk assessments and insurance requirements are considered and met.’