Council that pulled the plug on fireworks display backs campaign urging people to attend an organised event (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Darlington Council backs organised fireworks safety campaign - despite cancelling its own public display
A COUNCIL has been mocked for backing a safety campaign telling residents to attend an organised firework display after axing its own annual public event.
Darlington Borough Council has endorsed the posters in partnership with County Durham and Darlington Fire Service which advise people to stay safe on bonfire night by attending an organised display.
The poster highlights a website link to a list of displays in Darlington, but since the council is no longer funding its once annual event in South Park, there is just one bonfire listed – a ticket-only event in Walworth six miles out of the town.
The irony has not been lost on users of social networking sites, with some taking to facebook to poke fun at the council.
Barry Newton commented: “Is this a joke? We would attend one if the council hadn’t cancelled them all.”
Fellow facebook user Brian Llewellyn branded the campaign “a waste of money” given the lack of organised displays in the town, while Anne Foster warned that the emergency services in the region could have a busy period dealing with more people holding their own bonfires.
A Darlington Borough Council spokeswoman confirmed that the authority is not hosting a bonfire or fireworks display in the borough this November and said: "Due to budget restrictions the council is not hosting any firework displays this year.
“To help people stay safe this bonfire night we encourage residents to attend an organised event when possible.
“If you are organising an event and would like us to help you promote it on our website, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Darlington’s public fireworks display is one of several in the region to have been axed in recent years due to budget cuts.
There is no official council-run event for Bishop Auckland this year, and because of the knock-on effect of hundreds more people flocking to Newton Aycliffe’s display, that too has been cancelled amid traffic and safety fears.
Barnard Castle residents fare better after their town council agreed a fortnight ago to support an organised event to the tune of £1,500.
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