Keith Williamson / Buile Hill Park, Salford
Salford City Council and Greater Manchester Police have announced the cancellation of this weekend’s Bonfire Night celebrations.
The cancellation comes after the possibility of unprecedented levels of attendance, capacity of already highly pressured emergency services as well as high COVID rates across the city and Greater Manchester.
Buile Hill Park was set to welcome fireworks on Friday evening, whilst Prince’s Park, Irlam, was planning an event on Saturday.
Salford City Council Chief Executive Tom Stannard said: “Whilst we regret to have to make this late decision, the safety of our residents at events like this is at the forefront of our thinking and of utmost importance.
“We have hosted successful bonfire events in the city for our residents for over 20 years and hope to continue to do so in the future. But for this year, we need to follow advice to keep people safe. Please ensure you stay safe if you celebrate at home.”
Salford Division Chief Superintendent Shaun Donnellan at Greater Manchester Police said: “After much deliberation with all organisations involved, cancelling these events is unfortunate, but is the right decision to take.
“With the additional pressures of increased attendance, it would simply be impossible to make these safe events for all attendees.”
Jason Graham of Atom Fireworks, Eccles, said: “I am not surprised the fireworks have been cancelled, whether I think it is the right thing to do that is a different matter, but I can see why because in the face of the public they don’t want to be seen to be holding large events if the COVID rates going up.
“Some of us guys do just take on displays and do just take on council contracts then yeah it can be devastating for them.”
He followed: “However, those of us that have retail shops that sell retail fireworks will be more likley to benefit from it because the people will now want to buy fireworks because they can’t go to the display.
“I think people can enjoy themselves. My advice to those people would be if you do want to do fireworks and you don’t have massive amounts of money to throw at it then get some sooner rather than later.”