David Brayshaw column

Chairman  of Morecambe Carnival  organising committee David Brayshaw.
Chairman of Morecambe Carnival organising committee David Brayshaw.

We had a great start to the week when we received our fabulous carnival posters, superbly designed by Workshop Media and printed, at no cost to the carnival, by Morecambe Press.

Now we need to get them out into the wide world. Thanks to those who have already put up posters or have taken a supply to distribute for us.

If anyone wants some of the posters, please email, call or come and see me. They can also be downloaded direct from our website.

It’s fantastic to see the posters up in shops when I go past, it seems to make the whole day real and I think I can start looking forward to it now.

This month marks the first anniversary of our first carnival meeting; it has taken a year of planning to get to this stage.

I can hardly believe it. I have to say though that the plan has evolved so much from the original concept.

Our first meeting really consisted of introductions and then compiling a list of obstructions which we anticipated being put in our way.

The majority of these were under the heading of Lancaster City Council.

I think we all knew the stories of why the carnival stopped years ago: red tape introduced by the City Council who, for whatever reason it seemed, did not want Morecambe to have a carnival.

You will probably be as surprised as I was, to learn that the truth is quite the opposite.

Lancaster City Council officers have been extremely helpful to the carnival, they have agreed to the closure of car parks, to accommodate our Food Village, have allowed us to have the Fairground and our exciting ‘City of Bounce’ on the promenade and have offered advice and assistance when required.

Sure there has been red tape and health and safety hoops to jump through and this is why the costs of organising the carnival are significant.

However, I cannot say that what they’ve asked of us is excessive.

We live in a ‘blame’ culture, where there’s no longer such a thing as an accident. It’s always someone else’s fault and there’ll be a ‘no win, no fee’ ambulance chaser there before you know it.

One of the things we, as a carnival committee, have to do is present our plans at ESAG meetings and obtain their approval. ESAG stands for Event Safety Advisory Group and is something that I’d never heard of.

Another layer of bureaucracy is what I initially thought however, again I was wrong. This meeting brings together the City Council and the emergency services and allows us, in one go, to present our plans to all those concerned and it gives them a chance to ask questions but also to offer advice to help with planning.

I’m pleased to say that their remit certainly seems to be one of assisting events rather than finding ways of blocking them.