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Health and safety threat to town's annual carnival
4:00pm Thursday 28th February 2008 in New Forest Letters
I READ the recent Forest Journal cover article about the effects in Ringwood of changes to health and safety legislation regarding street closures with dismay, particularly as I have participated in the town's carnival and am on the festival committee which organises a number of charitable activities within the town.
It struck me that surely a road closure must be safer than a road!
Perhaps we will see the advent of additional legislation requiring safety fencing along all pavements and a law prohibiting anyone from crossing the road, unless encased in a suit of body armour, with the additional proviso that all cars be made of rubber and travel at four miles per hour.
I am not aware that anyone has been killed or seriously injured while attending a market in the town, and have not observed anything untoward in any of the public events which have taken place since I arrived in Ringwood four years ago.
Isn't it time we accepted that each of us is responsible for our own life?
We should be aware as individuals of what we are doing and not rely on the state to protect us from everyday activities.
I was in Austria last week on a skiing holiday - an activity I am convinced would be banned in the UK if we happened to have any mountains.
I cheerfully climbed into chair lifts, shot down steep slopes, often bordered by vertical drops, and accepted that it was quite possible I might get hurt, but that it was my choice.
I am certain the risks posed by holding a carnival procession or attending a market are infinitely lower, and should not be stopped by onerous levels of bureaucracy.
Community activities and events are the glue that cements our society together and makes life worth living, lets make sure that this important part of our cultural heritage isn't squandered because someone might trip over a paving stone.
SEAN AITA, Ringwood