Southport BID have hit back at claims made by Sefton Council that their contractors were responsible for the cancellation of a show at the Atkinson last week.
The Christmas tree in the Princess Diana Memorial Gardens is installed annually by Illumidex on behalf of Southport BID.
The Council initially claimed that “contractors were not abiding by pre-agreed safety requirements” and that “were informed of this year’s installation at very short notice”.
These alleged breaches led to the cancellation of a show from the Blackheart Orchestra, which was cancelled just 20 minutes before it was due to begin.
However Southport BID has now disputed this version of events. Illumidex UK have said the Council’s statement is “unfair and untrue”.
Southport BID said: “[We were] sad to hear that the Blackheart Orchestra concert was cancelled on Wednesday.
“Southport BID installs the Christmas tree annually. Given that it is a complex operation, it is booked in June. The installation is discussed and planned between the BID and our partners including the Atkinson before the installation method is confirmed.
“For a number of years the Christmas tree has been installed in Town Hall Gardens where everyone can see and enjoy it.
“Southport BID is committed to ensure that all people involved in the installation can work in a safe environment and that the general public’s welfare is also safeguarded by ensuring that all correct procedures are followed.
“It is clearly a matter for The Atkinson to cancel a show if they choose to do so. It is not a matter for Southport BID who were simply following the agreed installation plan, which included the night of 17th November for the erection of the tree before the town’s Christmas season gets underway.”
Chris Ryan of Illumidex UK posted to the OTS Facebook page: “Our approved RAMS (Risk Assessment Method Statement) – which had been signed off and had been approved, where followed to by the book. Pre agreed safety requirements where in place and again we have evidence of this. Safe passage ways [were] in place for all persons using the Atkinson.
“Blaming us as the contractors is totally unfair and not true. The operations for installing all of Southport decorations takes meticulous and careful planning which is organised MONTHS in advance. Each job has a schedule method statement and risk assessment approved before work commences.”