Decision to cancel Stamford Christmas Festival ‘not taken lightly’

Stamford Christmas Market and lights switch-on 2014 EMN-141130-185953009

Stamford Christmas Market and lights switch-on 2014 EMN-141130-185953009

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Stamford Town Council has said it took “expert advice” on weather before cancelling the weekend’s Christmas Festival.

The council announced on Saturday (November 28) that the following day’s festival and lights switch on would not take place due to bad weather predictions.

In a post on its Facebook page, which was updated yesterday (Sunday, November 29) the council said it was “with great regret” that it was “compelled” to make the decision.

But the council said it had rearranged the lights switch-on for Thursday, December 3.

The council said: “This decision was not taken lightly and without expert advice from both meteorological and health and safety authorities.

“Public safety is of paramount importance and Stamford Town Council has duty of care to its residents. The forecast plainly warned of high levels of gusting wind (potentially 50 mph plus). This alone would make it unsafe for marquees, stalls or gazebos to be erected.

“Many traders will find that their public liability insurance is invalidated should winds exceed 25mph.

“In order to notify the public and market traders of the cancellation soonest, the council made widespread use of Facebook, Twitter and the Stamford Town Council website and local media including the Stamford Mercury, the Peterborough Telegraph and Rutland Radio who announced the decision in their afternoon broadcasts. Stamford Town Council wishes to thank everyone who helped spread the news.

“Stall holders and others directly participating were notified as soon as was practical and possible. The town council will meet shortly to consider future action in respect of trader’s fees.

“Stamford Town Council recognises that there has been great disappointment, not least among the organising committee who worked so hard to stage the event.

“To mitigate some of that disappointment, Stamford Town Council is pleased to announced that (subject to confirmation) there will be an official Christmas lights switch-on at 4.30pm this coming Thursday, December 3.

“The event will be scaled down and will not include a market but will provide the earliest opportunity to turn on the Christmas lights for all to enjoy.

“News updates will be issued through the Stamford Town Council website, Facebook and Twitter pages.

Three years ago a market trader was hurt during the Christmas Festival in 2012 after a stall was knocked over in the wind. She was knocked backwards and fell onto a wall, hurting her back and side.

Following the incident, the festival, which was in its sixth year, finished early.