Burnham's bunting ban is resolved
PUBLISHED: 11:00 01 June 2012
A DISPUTE over jubilee bunting in Burnham has been resolved after a ban on hanging the decorations was blamed on a 'breakdown in communication.'
The ‘bunting ban’ was put in place last week when the town’s Chamber of Trade was told by the town council it could not hang bunting between the shops and street lamps due to Somerset County Council regulations.
These rules said people could not use street lamps to hang bunting as it may pose a health and safety risk.
A council spokesman initially said: “The council is very happy to help local councils put up bunting. We recommend councils use their existing fixing points for Christmas lights, CCTV cameras or suchlike.
“Two years ago a lamppost came down in London, killing a child, and it’s important we avoid a similar tragedy in Somerset.”
Burnham Chamber of Trade spokesman Jonathan Walter said: “We asked permission to use the lamps from the (town) council but it denied permission, but it turns out it had not asked the county council.”
After the county council’s highways department was contacted, a team conducted a site visit and ruled the town could be decorated.
Burnham and Highbridge town clerk Eileen Shaw said: “There was a total breakdown in communication between the Chamber of Trade and myself.
“I told them we wanted to loop the bunting along the shops; members told me they wanted to put it across the light columns. I wasn’t sure the county council would allow that and it was left like that. Then it all went haywire.
“Nobody contacted the county council directly to see if we could fix the bunting to the lighting columns because my council never intended to fix it that way. But I arranged for the highways team to meet the Chamber of Trade and it was resolved.”
Mr Walter said: “We are just glad that our part of the organising can go ahead and the celebrations can go on as normal.”
A county council spokesman said: “There was no approach from Burnham Chamber of Trade to the council regarding the fixing of bunting to our street lamps, nor has there ever been a ban.
“An engineer has met the Chamber of Trade and agreed that bunting can be fixed to the lampposts in the High Street they have chosen.”