Council U-turns on bouncy castles ban

A council has reversed its decision to ban the use of bouncy boards on its premises after an uproar.

Highland councils recently announced a “forecast pause” on hiring inflatables for health and safety reasons amid concerns about accidents in windy conditions.

It said the size of the field made it difficult for staff to carry out the necessary checks for the use of inflatables across a “vast estate” of more than 200 schools.

The move was branded “insane” by a local company, and the council has now reversed its position following a review.

In a statement on Wednesday, it said: “Highland Councils have held further discussions about the health and safety requirements of booking inflatable lets on their properties.

“The Council’s approach seeks to balance risk mitigation with acting in a way that does not unduly impact on community activities.

“As a result the council can confirm that new terms of lay requirements have been produced for the safe use of inflatable equipment on council and High Life Highland premises.

“The purpose of LET’s new conditions is to enable the Council to ensure that for a particular event, inflatable devices meet all required safety standards; Operators of these equipment can demonstrate that they have carried out an appropriate risk assessment; they have appropriate insurance to cover any risks to users of the equipment; and to cover any other risks that may arise from these inflatable devices being used on Council premises.”

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It added that with these assurances, the council would be able to allow appropriate contractors to fulfill bookings at local authority owned facilities at Highland Council and High Life Highland operated facilities.

Mascot Madness Entertainment, a bouncy castle rental company based in Inverness, had hit out at the initial ban and said it was apprehensive for the future of the business, saying: “This proposed madcap rule cannot be implemented at any time and It would be impossible to police.”

In a social media post on Wednesday, it welcomed the change in status but said it still had some concerns.

The company said it would like the opportunity to sit down with the relevant departments at Highland Council and introduce an approved contractor scheme, where each supplier is screened accordingly and thoroughly annually to ensure they are operating in the prescribed direction. – Following instructions.

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