An organ grinder and his monkey were banned from the streets on health and safety grounds.Well, quite right, too! Filthy creatures, prone to bite and a vector for numerous diseases…
Paddy Cooke, 64, from Matlock in Derbyshire, and his stuffed toy Simon cannot perform until they complete a risk assessment.Words fail me…
Ripley Town Council in Derbyshire decided to cancel the act who were due to perform in the town centre during the summer holidays.
The decision was made by licensing bosses at Amber Valley Borough Council.
Ripley Mayor Lynn Joyes said: 'The risks are very low and how do performers know how big an audience they'll get?The irony of a Labour party member complaining about Byzantine rules and petty officials wielding the Health and Safety book on an unnecessary power trip hasn’t escaped me.
'That depends on the weather. If it's raining you might get five, but if the weather is nice, there'll be 105.'
Labour group leader Geoff Carlile said: 'This is typical of bureaucracy gone mad. This was sprung on us at the last minute and left us in a difficult situation.'
But last night the borough council defended its decision.Not that anyone should really be surprised that council officials think up tasks and duties to keep them occupied greedily sucking down all that taxpayer cash, but if you have time to persecute a street performer and his stuffed animal, you have too much time on your hands and are obviously overstaffed…
Simon Gladwin, head of landscape services, said: 'We always require that anyone organising a public event or entertainment on land managed by the borough council completes a risk assessment.
'In cases such as this, where performers are unable to supply a personal risk assessment of their activities, it is the responsibility of the organiser to provide the risk assessment.