To answer questions from members of the public pursuant to Executive Procedure Rule No. 13
QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC NO. 1 Under Schedule 4, 13, Mr H Loxton will ask the Leader of the Council Councillor Jeremy Oates the following question:-
What engagement has taken place with residents in relation to the council’s annual fireworks display since the event last year?
Councillor J Oates gave the following answer:
There are many routes in which TBC engages directly with local residents and businesses.
Last year’s fireworks event saw unprecedented numbers of visitors to the Castle grounds. It was the first major outdoor event the Council had undertaken since the pandemic and visitors returned in their thousands.
As the biggest most popular event the council puts I feel sends out a clear message this event is enjoyed and welcomed by the majority.
We should always reflect and consider why we do anything we do as a council especially if, like outdoor events, we do not have to do anything as its not our duty to do so.
With regards the fireworks and other outdoor events we must review our approach regularly.
The councils position on outdoor events is simple, we put them on for people to enjoy but primarily they are put on to attract people to Tamworth and support the businesses we have here.
Specifically regarding fireworks displays many reviews have been taken over the last 16 years and the event has changed such as the removal of the bonfire. So why do we have a large fireworks display/event. The original reasons still stand –
Holding large events reduces the number of domestic displays and therefore reduces the sale of fireworks, the dangers of fireworks, the environmental impact in all forms of pollution (sound, light and the products of combustion)
Holding large events brings people together at a time of year in which many wouldn’t get together,
Holding the fireworks event brings people in to Tamworth.
The last event was extremely busy and did result in some complaints mainly concerning parking,
To make people aware, these events take a lot of co-ordination and management and as such, the council establish what is called a SAG (Safety Advisory Group). This group meets prior to the event being held (on a number of occasions) and then again after the event to discuss lessons learned and to make sure it is better next time around. This group is made up of all blue light services, local and County Council Officers, together with the appointed security team representatives and Health and Safety advisors.
Since that time the security for the whole event has been reviewed and a revised event plan is in place which includes:
• Consideration of additional road closures to ensure safe ingress and egress of visitors.
• Additional signage to improve awareness will be in place around the Castle grounds.
• Increased lighting within the Castle grounds
• Additional noise monitoring
• Allowing more space for the Fair to operate its rides
• Tamworth Football Club opening their car park to provide more parking spaces.
The final safety advisory group meeting is being held this week, when all of the concerns raised last year will be discussed and a final decision on whether the event goes ahead is made.
Once this had happened the event details will be publicised through various media channels.