Fun's cancelled due to insurance snag
A FORMER Camelford town councillor has voiced his anger at being forced to cancel a bike ride and fun day planned for the town.
Alan Burgis had begun to organise the event, which would have included a jazz band, to take place in the town on September 1.
As a member of the Camelford Association of Residents he has helped run previous events to mark the Queen's diamond jubilee, the recent royal wedding and the 60th anniversary of the coronation on the Green, which is owned by the Camelford Town Trust.
However, the fun day has now been scrapped after a mix-up over the insurance.
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Mr Burgis said he was advised by Camelford and Cornwall councillor Rob Rotchell that Enfield Park would be a suitable venue.
Enfield Park is owned by the town council, and Mr Burgis said he assumed the event would be covered by the authority's event insurance.
However, he had now had to cancel both the ten-mile family bike ride and the fun party planned around it because the council had refused his application.
"The Government's trying to get people fitter by getting on their bikes, so I thought the town council would support the event," said Mr Burgis.
Instead, the town clerk advised him that the event would not be covered by the council's insurance, which only covered events it had organised itself.
He was told he would need to purchase public liability insurance with cover of up to £5 million and provide a risk assessment for the activities.
The council considered his application earlier this month but has told Mr Burgis that it is unwilling to take on the responsibility of running the event because it was given too little notice to carry out risk assessments and recruit volunteer marshals and event co-ordinators.
The council agreed that it could become involved in another event planned for September 2014 in conjunction with the road race and marathon which are being organised in Camelford.
Mr Burgis, who was a town councillor for four months, said that as he did not get early permission he was forced to cancel the bike ride but had been prepared to go ahead with the fun day until he received the council's letter of refusal.
He said that the only event that would now be organised was a fun event on the Green on September 15 for the Scouts and Guides.
Town clerk Marian Sedgwick told the Cornish Guardian that the council could not give insurance cover for events which it did not organise itself.
"I told Mr Burgis he would need to organise his own insurance and carry out risk assessments," she said. "We have liability insurance if anyone gets injured in the normal use of Enfield Park, but not for special events organised by anyone else."
Mr Rotchell said: "The council cannot lend its insurance out to anyone else, but a run is being organised next year and it is possible he could hold an event in conjunction with that."