Friday, 4 Dec 2020

Xmas music and carolling banned in Blackpool over fears of ‘spreading Covid’

Killjoy council chiefs have said humbug to Christmas as they banned festive tunes from the town centre.

Hardworking charity carollers from the Salvation Army would usually belt out Christmas classics raise money in Blackpool town centre.

But the cheery performances – which raise money for worthy causes – have been axed this year over fears they would spread Covid-19.

The Salvation Army Band was told that it could not perform its usual mix of festive tunes despite councillors admitting punters needed cheering up.

At a public protection committee meeting, councillor Peter Hunter slammed the decision to ban carolling, Lancs Live reports.

He fumed: "At this festive time I think we all need to keep up our spirits and a band playing in a town centre street is conducive to that.

"It’s not just a fundraising issue, it’s a morale issue. It’s the playing of the music and it is Christmas time.

"I have never seen people gathering, they tend to listen as they walk past and people drop a donation as they walk past.

"A handful of musicians with a barrier around them does not create a lot of problems as long as they do not have someone rattling a tin.

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"Just have a tin where people can leave donations. I don’t think that will cause significant problems."

But scrooge council bosses said the authority has banned all events in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Lee Petrak, the council’s trading standards and licensing manager warned the performances would be like allowing "a mini-event in the town centre".

He said the council was discouraging all gatherings in the town centre but did not want to stop fundraising.

Lee added: "We’re suggesting face-to-face physical fundraising is perhaps not the best route to take at the moment.

"Fundraisers can look at alternative, more remote ways of raising money."

Councillors voted to revoke the Salvation Army’s licence – meaning they will be stopped from performing in high street during the run-up to Christmas.

The Salvation Army is a worldwide Christian Church and charity that has become known for Christmas carolers.

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