Spennymoor fireworks ticket-only event amid crowd fears after neighbouring towns scrap displays (From The Northern Echo)
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Spennymoor fireworks ticket-only event amid crowd fears after neighbouring towns scrap displays
A FIREWORKS display will be an all ticket, residents only event to stop an influx of people from neighbouring towns where events have been axed.
Spennymoor Town Council has decided to press ahead with plans for its annual Bonfire Night event but for the first time will issue passes to control the crowds.
The council estimates around 3,000 people usually attend its display at High Whitworth off Carr Lane, in Spennymoor, County Durham.
But after several neighbouring authorities scrapped their displays, councillors feared people from surrounding towns such as Darlington, Newton Aycliffe and Bishop Auckland would descend on Spennymoor to enjoy its display on Tuesday, November 5, which starts at 6.15pm.
In order to keep visitors to a safe number, the council decided to make it ticket only event and has made 5,000 free places available.
As it is funded with £8,000 from the council precept, attendees must prove residence of the Spennymoor parish which includes Tudhoe, Middlestone Moor, Kirk Merrington and Byers Green.
Town clerk Pauline Waterson said: “Many of our neighbouring councils have taken the decision to cancel their organised displays as a result of budgetary constraints, this could mean that there will be a large influx of visitors from outside the parish to our event.
“The event is funded from the precept so it is effectively Spennymoor parishioners who fund the event so they should receive the benefit.”
Councillor Ian Harrington, leader of Spennymoor Town Council, added: “Having spent time in Bishop Auckland casualty department on bonfire night many years ago, I do not want to go back to the old days of street end firework displays.
“We want to proceed on the basis that organised displays are far safer for our community.
“However we recognise that we have a duty, in the interests of the health and safety of those who attend, to control the number of people entering the site and, rather than not proceed, the town council has decided to make it an all ticket event for Spennymoor parish residents.”
Tickets will be available on a first come, first served basis at Spennymoor Town Hall reception, on 01388-815276 or the website parishes.durham.gov/uk/Spennymoor from next Wednesday (October 9). Proof of residence and age of over 16 will be required.
Donations on the night will be collected in aid of Mayor Jeff Daley’s chosen charity- the stroke rehabilitation unit at Bishop Auckland Hospital.
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