Feb 13 2014 by Rebecca Koncienzcy, Ormskirk Advertiser
A COUNCILLOR has blamed changes in policing for the possible end of the Banks Carnival.
The Lancashire Constabulary appears to have told local event organisers that the force may not be able to marshal events in the future.
Banks councillor Paul Blaine, organiser of the carnival, said: “We have been told that we can warden and police ourselves, but insurance companies are not okay with this – and that is when you start looking at private companies and I can't see how a local event can afford that.
“It will hit hard the culture and heritage of the area and put the whole heritage of the village in jeopardy.
“Banks also has two walks that are now under threat and they are hundreds of years old.
“I can understand that they have never offered to police the events but at the end of the day police were there last year and the year before to close the roads, so I would ask that if they have never offered this support, why were they there?
“Why did we have to get a letter from the police to say they would be there for the road closures to give to the county and the borough councils?
“If it was a gesture of goodwill then all I ask is that they continue that gesture.”
And he added: “When we brought the Banks Carnival back we brought back our community spirit and now politics is going to be taking it away from us.”
A police spokesperson said: “There is a public perception that the police service is the lead agency for approving all public events.
“The police have no authority to either approve or ban events and police powers to regulate traffic for events are limited.
“The responsibility for public safety at public events is actually the responsibility of the event organisers, the owners of the land on which the event takes place and – if the event takes place on a road – the local authority.
“Whilst the police service retain discretion to attend and take action at public events in order to discharge our core duties, the primacy for stewarding and marshalling remains with the event organiser.”