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Classic car rally cancelled

By Katia Harston, Chief Reporter Thursday 1st May 2014

A CLASSIC car rally held at Cannon Hall has been cancelled after council officials said it doesn't meet health and safety requirements.

The event, which featured more than 550 vehicles last year, is put on by Barnsley Rotary Club to raise money for local charities.

Organiser George Wild said it is with a heavy heart July's event has been shelved. Since its inception 15 years ago the event has raised more than £100,000.

George said: "Two changes have really brought us to the decision to cancel, economical combined with health and safety requirements.

"It is a very sad state of affairs and the losers will be local charities."

The rotary club was told it would have to pay a £250 land rent fee; £748 in council staffing costs and £300 for a legal agreement. George said none of these have been charged before.

It was also advised to use a traffic management company and have an ambulance and paramedic on site for the duration of the rally, costing a further £2,000.

George said: "Based on this we were faced with a minimum cost of about £3,400 to stage the rally, which would obviously have a major impact on the amount we would possibly raise on the day and therefore we took the decision to cancel.

"While we understand health and safety requirements are a must, we do feel that this has been taken out of context."

He said there has been no involvement by the council's events management team before now and this year's rally was planned to be no different to the rest.

A council spokeswoman said due to the size of the event, which attracts up to 6,000, a review was carried out by the council's events management section at the request of Cannon Hall management.

She said: "The event was found to have inadequate medical cover and the traffic management plan was not robust enough.
"An event safety committee meeting was held with the rotary club, fire, police, ambulance service and council representatives and it was confirmed the event would need a static paramedic and ambulance on site.

"The rotary club is responsible for managing the event, and have previously used the site for free, including Cannon Hall staff being provided from 6am to 7pm. They were offered a charity rate price for the event management.

"The process was never about not being able to have the event at Cannon Hall, it was about keeping the event safe, as well as needing to cover our own costs."

She said the council is undertaking ongoing event management to make sure organisations offer safe events.