Jobsworth councillors attempt bunting ban
KILLJOY council chiefs threatened to ban Olympic torch parade bunting from a Scottish village – over health and safety fears.
Gala organisers in Crossford, Fife, planned to hang a fleet of flags along the village’s main street.
But Fife Council objected to the celebratory bunting because it criss-crossed and could “sag and fall into live traffic below”.
The council – saying it was a “standard condition that is on all our bunting approvals” – also warned that high vehicles could be damaged by the street decorations.
Following pressure from the community council, Fife officials backed down – agreeing the village could keep its bunting “on this one occasion” to celebrate Wednesday’s Olympic torch parade.
Council bosses even offered to hang the bunting themselves – at a cost of £270.
Dunfermline Central Councillor, Joe Rosiejak, accused Fife Council of employing “jobsworth rules.”
He said: “It would get a nomination for the daftest decision award of the month. It’s jobsworth rules.
“They were told it was in case a high lorry came along and caused damage. What flaming lorry is that high?
“The majority of the time Fife Council has some fantastic officers and managers but this is bordering on the ridiculous.”
Alan Baxter, chair of the village’s gala committee, said, “We got a phone call explaining that it is Fife Council policy that you can’t criss-cross bunting, so it can only go down the side of the street.
“We had to see about taking it down as soon as possible. I don’t get the logic behind why we can’t criss-cross it. If lampposts are low then there is a danger but the height of lampposts in our village are huge.
“So I contacted the councillor (Mr Rosiejak) and we managed to get a sensible decision.”
Corporate services in Dunfermline contacted the road management (south) department last Wednesday to highlight Mr Baxter’s concerns.
They received an email reply stating: “The community council did not apply for permission to erect the bunting therefore they were not aware that bunting should not cross the carriageway which is a standard condition that is on all our bunting approvals.
“We ask that bunting does not cross the carriageway as in some cases it does have a tendency to sag and on occasion fall into live traffic below.
“It does appear quite low around the garage area.
“We have to objections to the CC having bunting for gala days etc, we just don’t want it crossing the carriageway.”
Area services manager, Norman Laird, said: “It’s great to see so many communities getting involved in celebrations around the Jubilee and the Olympics torch and it’s very fitting that Crossford Community Council has decided to keep up their bunting following their successful gala.
“All of Fife’s area committees hold area budgets which are available to local groups and community councils for all sorts of events and applications are always welcome.
“We do normally ask that if the communities are putting up bunting that it doesn’t cross the carriageway as sometimes it can sag and could fall into live traffic below.
“However, in this instance we’ve carried out a check and will make an exception.”
Fife Council charge £270 to decorate villages with bunting. That’s why Crossford’s gala committee decided to do it themselves this year for their annual gala.
But little did they know their money saving exploits would land this in hot water with jobsworth council bosses who said it shouldn’t cross above the road.
Alan Baxter, chair of the gala committee said: “The council put up our bunting last year but we had to pay for it.
“It cost £270-odd to put it up and take it down. But it doesn’t look the best when it’s just down one side of the street so we decided to get it done ourselves.”
They used a van’s cherry picker to attach bunting to 34 lamposts along Main Street.
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