Organisers of Four Lanes Fun Day abandon event blaming mounting bureaucracy
ORGANISERS of the Four Lanes fun day said they will no longer stage the event due to mounting bureaucracy and costs.
Cornwall councillor Derek Elliott, for Four Lanes, is calling on the authority to rethink its assessment process for events, claiming it will kill off local traditions.
Donald Houston, of the Four Lanes Regeneration group, which stages the event, said it has been running for about 15 years and attracted about 500 people this year.
But organisers felt ground down by the paperwork needed to get permission to stage the day of fun.
He said: "We spent 12 months filling in forms and speaking to Cornwall Council and finally got permission one week before the event in August.
"We had to take out £5 million public liability insurance, costing £101, and we had to fill out so many assessment forms. We have the time but not the energy to deal with it anymore."
Mr Elliot said organisers of small events were having to fill out the same number of forms as those putting on large-scale events, such as the Royal Cornwall Show.
He said: "With the ludicrous bureaucracy, which included having to fill out risk assessments on everything from heating, lighting, and ventilation, through to falling, tripping and slipping, and a 70-question event notification form and a 25-section event overview and insurance charges, has resulted in that hardworking committee saying 'enough is enough'.
"Four Lanes is not the first, and nor will it be the last. We have an organised event on a piece of land which is accessed by people all year without the need to fill forms in and extortionate insurance charges. We need these traditions to continue."
Cornwall Council said public liability insurance cover was needed for health and safety of the visitors or participants.
If a group of friends or family organise a picnic in the park, this is not an event, it said.
In a statement, the council said there were more than 2,000 events in Cornwall every year, and their growing popularity required expertise to meet public demand and to manage the risks involved.
It said: "The council has a duty to ensure public safety for events on our land and public health and protection have a duty to enforce on those that are not."
It went on to point out that risk assessments are a legal requirement.