About this time last year we posted an article on Easter. TBH, it was programmed in weeks in front, only the day before it auto posted, I had to write a forward about how Easter wasn’t actually happening for the funfair industry, as in line with many business’s Covid had effectively wiped us out.
Now I remember discussing the upcoming year, and how we would probably all be back out for June, only we weren’t. What none of us expected was to actually still be in the same position as we were last year, ie. no funfairs.
A Worrying Trend
What is especially worrying is what actually happened through most of last season. Eventually the government gave the go ahead for funfair to resume. They were outdoors, as they were usually held in large open spaces social distancing wasn’t a problem, and everyone spent money having the annual safety inspections and insurance applied etc.
Then reality hit. Although the government had specifically allowed travelling funfairs to operate, the local authorities decided otherwise. A number of events were actually set up and ready to go, when the relevant local authority closed them down. To add insult to injury, many of the same councils allowed their local theme parks to operate. No disrespect to them, but theme parks tend to have attractions concreted in place, they couldn’t spread them about for social distancing, so what was the reason behind it all.
Or ‘Safety Advisory Group‘, is the new local authority buzzword. Yet another layer of ‘Health and Safety’ set up to make peoples lives a misery, sorry, improve safety.
Councils are now empowering such groups to make a decision on whether or not a funfair can go ahead. Not based on any particular check box of rules or requirements. But rather on whether the individual SAG group are satisfied with the proposal.
Now, going on past experience, it wouldn’t be so bad if they actually helped. But what we have found is quite often when dealing with H&S the conversation goes a bit like this.
H&S “We are not happy with that, we won’t let you operate”,
“OK, what would you like us to do to comply with what you want?”
H&S “Oh, we can’t tell you that, you do what you think and we will tell you if we are happy!”
So they won’t tell you what they want, just that they don’t want what you are offering.
Last year resulted in an occasional funfair going ahead, but the vast majority closed, with no government grants etc, as the fairgrounds don’t pay business rates, being transient events. It looks much like this will be a repeat, it isn’t Easter again.