Row over gardens trials

Trial bike course marked out at Jubilee Gardens
Trial bike course marked out at Jubilee Gardens
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A row has broken out over a trial bike race event held on Blackpool Promenade.

The event was staged last weekend at the Jubilee Gardens close to Gynn Square, just yards away from a statue in memory of three police officers who lost their lives at sea.

The gardens have been tended by volunteers this summer and concerns have been raised their hard work will have been in vain.

Coun Danny Scott, who represents Warbreck, is angry that nobody at Blackpool Council consulted him about the race, which took place over rocks at the North Shore site.

He said: “For nine or 10 weeks there have been volunteers down at the gardens looking after the borders, weeding and planting and tidying things up.

“I got a call on Saturday morning saying a trial bike course had been set up.

“People were appalled, they were in a panic.

“It’s inappropriate in what people consider to be memorial gardens to hold an event like that.

“What’s more nobody was informed, nobody was asked.”

Coun Scott said volunteers had been asked not to touch the rock due to waterproof coatings.

He questioned how trial bike riders could then have been allowed to race over the feature.

Blackpool Council said the race was a great success and, given there was no official designation of the site as memorial gardens, there was no reason not to stage such an event again.

Coun Graham Cain, Cabinet Secretary for Blackpool Council, said: “This was an officially-organised event, which brought over 300 people into Blackpool, helping boost the local economy

“The organisers stayed within the pre-arranged area on the rocks and didn’t encroach onto any of the garden or flowered areas. They looked after the Jubilee Gardens and helped tidy up after themselves and others when they were finished. They even cleaned up the area by sweeping up broken glass and other rubbish before using it and have offered a donation of plants and flowers as a thank-you.

“The event is a regular occurrence, has always gone off smoothly and without complaint and we are happy to work with the organisers around their return, hopefully next year.

“The area is not classed as a memorial park – and the events took place on the opposite side of the garden to the emergency services memorial – however we will speak to ward councillors and friends groups to ask whether that status is something they’d like us to consider.”