POULTON’S summer gala has been cancelled due to a lack of volunteers and red tape.
Organisers today announced their decision to shelve the annual event.
Members of the Poulton-Le-Fylde Festival Committee say it has been a difficult decision but one that has been impossible to avoid.
Committee president, county councillor Geoff Roper, told The Gazette the gala has become ‘incredibly difficult to run’.
He said: “It was a very hard decision to make but there won’t be a gala this year.
“The red tape and health and safety we now face has exacerbated the situation as it makes a lot more work for the volunteers.
“We are not able to put bunting up and people say the gala doesn’t look as good as it has done in the past but what can we do our hands are tied.”
Coun Roper said the other problem was getting people to devote their time to the event.
He said: “We need a team of people who put their energy into this throughout the year - it is not just about the day.
“We need a minimum of 12 volunteers, including rose queen liaison, procession security officer, field manager and brochure editor. By the end of this month we would normally have the brochure finished but unfortunately it has just not been possible.
“We’re hoping to have one next year and hope to reform the committee in Autumn. We need people with good financial and secretarial abilities who can dedicate time throughout the year.”
Chairman of the committee, Gordon Forrest added: “Poulton Gala has been going for the past 100 years. It is one of the biggest ones and the first on the gala calendar.
“But every year we ask people to help and we say if we don’t get the support you won’t get a gala but people just assume someone else will do the work.
“I hope that by cancelling this year’s event it will be a kick up the backside for locals and we can re group and get some more volunteers.”
He said Poulton would miss the money brought in by the event.
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