Saturday 23 September 2017

Bunting on lamp posts ruled out

Burnham-on-Sea will not be allowed to hang bunting from lamp posts or street furniture to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee
Burnham-on-Sea will not be allowed to hang bunting from lamp posts or street furniture to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee

Bunting cannot be hung from lamp posts or street furniture due to health and safety fears, a town has been told.

The Chamber of Trade in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, hoped to hang several hundred metres of patriotic bunting between the lights as people around the country prepare to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

But Somerset County Council said the decoration can only be hung from shop fronts, and not from lamp posts or street furniture which would require risk assessments to be carried out.

In a statement the council quoted a case in which a baby boy was killed after a lamp post toppled on to his buggy in London in 2010.

However, an inquest into the child's death heard a workman had cut a metal plate supporting the lamp post five days before the accident, thinking it was part of an abandoned tram line.

Burnham Chamber secretary Jonathan Walter said: "The council just said there are rules in place for this sort of thing and we haven't applied for a licence for it - not that I know of anyone else that has applied for a licence to put bunting up. We've got a licence to put Christmas lights up and things like that, but we're not allowed to put bunting up.

"It just seems a bit jobs-worth really. It's to celebrate the Queen's jubilee, it's only for the week and we're not interfering with the highway or anything, it just seems a bit silly."

The town council has bought 750 metres of bunting, paid for by the council's Diamond Jubilee committee.

A Somerset County Council spokeswoman said: "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 lamp post came down in London, killing a child, and it's important we avoid a similar tragedy in Somerset."

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