Fylde MP Mark Menzies has called for common sense to prevail after Lancashire County Council cited health and safety regulations as the reason for banning bunting at Fylde’s Club Day and gala celebrations.
He wrote to Lancashire County Council chief executive Angie Ridgewell after the organisers of Lytham Club Day were told bunting could not be hung from certain lampposts and could not cross streets.
In his letter he said: “This appears to be a complete over-reaction and ridiculous use of health and safety legislation. I assume it will apply to all of our Club and Gala days in Fylde, including St Annes, Lytham, Kirkham and all of our villages.
“These celebrations have happened for decades with no issue relating to bunting across our streets. What has changed for the regulations to be changed now? I am not aware of any safety concerns raised previously about the bunting, nor have I been made aware of any damage caused by the bunting. So why the change and over-zealous use of legislation to ban a traditional part of our club day celebrations? What is the rationale behind what is clearly going to be perceived as such a heavy-handed move?
“The arrival of bunting along our streets has always been the sign that Club Day approaches. It is a part of the build-up to events that so many of our residents, especially children, get excited about.”
Mr Menzies wrote after Lytham Club Day organisers revealed on Facebook that Lancashire County Council refused an application made by Fylde Council for the bunting.
A post from organisers read: “Fylde Borough Council very kindly sought the required consent on our behalf but it has been refused under the Highways Act 1980 Section 178.
“Following further discussion with Fylde Borough Council, LCC have confirmed that bunting can be spanned between metal street lighting columns along the street, but they cannot be strung across the street nor can they be strung from concrete posts such as exist along much of the parade route.
“The alternative solution suggested is that we cut up the bunting and spiral it down the posts which quite frankly will look like its fallen down.
“So, at this moment in time we will not have the iconic sight of the bunting being strung along the parade route signifying the start of Lytham Club Day celebrations unless we can find a way to gain LCC consent.
“To many people this might seem unimportant, however if we on the Committee hadn't fought for the seemingly small things, we would have lost Club Day a long time ago.”
Mr Menzies added: “This is Lytham, Club Day’s 125th anniversary. For rules to suddenly be enforced now, for no apparent reason, is ridiculous.
“We need some common sense here from Lancashire County Council. There’s been no issue with bunting in the past. There will be no issue with bunting in future. So why get heavy handed?
“I look forward to a swift response from the county authority.”