When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Clitheroe community bonfire is cancelled
A COMMUNITY bonfire, which has raised £100,000 for charities, has been cancelled.
Plans to stage Clitheroe Community Bonfire on November 3 have fallen apart following organisers’ claims that ‘unreasonable restrictions’ have been placed on them by the local authorities, including the emergency services.
But member organisations from the Ribble Valley Event Safety Advisory Group, including the fire service and Ribble Valley Council, say there are very real safety concerns and a need to control crowds.
Lancashire Fire and Rescue said they had concerns that visitors could find themselves penned in by walls in one section without control of numbers.
However, Ribble Valley Council said it was happy to continue working on a ‘safe and enjoyable’ plan for the event.
Clitheroe Bonfire Committee claimed the free annual bonfire and firework display in the grounds of Clitheroe Castle had been cancelled due to an ‘over zealous’ attitude. The event was one of the few surviving community-organised bonfires in East Lancashire.
The committee includes members of the Rotary Clubs of Clitheroe, Ribblesdale and Pendle View, Clitheroe Round Table and Clitheroe Lions Club.
Bill Barker from the group said: “The bonfire has run in its present form for the last 15 years, and has entertained tens of thousands of Ribble Valley families in a safe and friendly environment, raising more than £100,000 for charities in the area.
“Sadly, the Ribble Valley Event Safety Advisory Group became involved and, at the eleventh hour, made totally unreasonable demands upon us.”
The Event Safety Advisory Group comprises Ribble Valley Council, Lancashire Constabulary, Lancashire Highways Authority, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and Lancashire Ambulance Service A spokesman for the fire service said: “From our perspective, we are expecting large numbers. The field near the castle is surrounded by walls and people could find themselves trapped. We were happy for the event to progress if safety concerns were addressed.”
Ribble Valley Council chief Marshal Scott said: “Last year’s bonfire was a huge success, but was attended by many more people than had been envisaged.
“Last week, I attended a meeting and pledged council support for the event, assistance with temporary road closures and traffic management, and financial support.
“It is therefore regrettable that the organisers feel unable to go ahead with the event, but even at this late stage, if they choose to proceed, the council is willing to help them plan for a safe and enjoyable bonfire.”