Strathclyde Park Firework display will not go ahead for second year running

The flagship Strathclyde Park firework display on November 5 will not take place for the second year running – after North Lanarkshire Council cited Covid-19 fears.

The news was confirmed to two Central Scotland List MSPs Scottish Conservative MSPs, Meghan Gallacher and Graham Simpson -who believe the event should be taking place.

Both have called the decision premature and have called for a rethink.

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Mr Simpson said: “Covid cannot be used as an excuse for cancelling events like this at the end of the year. We are having a fan zone at the Euros and restrictions are easing. We need to get back to normal quickly now that the vaccine rollout is proving such a success. There is simply no reason for this event not to take place. The decision is premature and should be reversed.”

Miss Gallacher added: “I am disappointed that NLC has made the premature decision to cancel the fireworks display. Many families across North Lanarkshire enjoy this event each year and will have missed not being able to attend last year due to COVID restrictions.

“I urge the council to reconsider the cancellation of the display, to hold back until further guidance is issued on outdoor events.”

However, a council spokesperson said: “We are currently in level Two restrictions and although we anticipate moving to Level Zero at some point in the future, we are aware that Covid-19 is still very much with us and in line with government guidance, we are continuing to take a cautious approach to events that attract large crowds.

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“Although government guidance is currently being reviewed and updated for outdoor events, planning for this type of large-scale event would need to have been well underway. Thousands of people attend our fireworks event and a current assessment highlights that we would be unable to put in place safeguards such as ticketing, controlled entry and exit points, sanitisation points and Test and Trace contact collection due to the dispersed nature of the crowd. In addition, being an evening event and its complex location, it would be challenging to control numbers gathering at the park.

“The safety of our residents and staff is paramount. We do look forward to planning a superb event in 2022 for everyone to enjoy.”

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