Douglas Borough Council has issued the following statement regarding a summons by the Police to appear before the Magistrates’ Court on Thursday February 16 in relation to holding a public fireworks display on Sunday November 6, 2016 without an occasional music licence.
Douglas Borough Council took the earliest possible opportunity to enter a guilty plea in relation to the charge of holding a public fireworks display on Sunday November 6, 2016 without an occasional music licence.
The Council’s fireworks display had been scheduled for Saturday November 5, an event for which the Council had applied for and obtained an Occasional Licence.
No contingency date was deemed necessary given that should the display have had to be cancelled because of adverse weather conditions then the entire event would have had to be abandoned at a sufficiently early time on Saturday November 5 in order to make a public announcement to that effect.
In what was an exceptional instance a technical fault developed with the fireworks firing unit on the evening of Saturday November 5 and the event had to be cancelled.
As in all previous years the Police were kept fully informed, not only of the provisions the Council had made for the scheduled date of the display but also of its decision to re-schedule the event for Sunday November 6.
While accepting it acted contrary to Section 17 (1) and (5) of the Music and Dancing Act 1961, the Council is disappointed that, the offence being solely a technical matter, the case should have been brought before the Court.
Executive committee vice-chairman Ritchie McNicholl said: ‘I concede that technically the Council did not comply with the Act in respect of the re-scheduled date. These were, however, highly unusual and unforeseen circumstances and it is regrettable that this case should have been brought before the Court.’
For the sixth successive year the fireworks display was sponsored by Celton Manx. Executive director Bill Mummery said: ‘I share the Council’s disappointment that this case has led to a summons being issued, action which serves no public interest.
‘As event sponsor Celton Manx fully supported the Council in its decision to acknowledge its responsibility to the community and reschedule what is one of the largest family-friendly events in the Island, attracting some 6,000 spectators.’