Calls for council to underwrite local fireworks display

Local people were disappointed to hear that there was no organised fireworks display in East Dunbartinshire this year.

The organisers of a display, which was held at the West of Scotland Football Club’s Burnbrae grounds in Milngavie for over ten years, didn’t hold an event this year because they lost too much money two years ago.

They blamed the loss on the weather - it was pouring with rain - and the fact that lots of people watched from outside the grounds to avoid paying the entry fee.

And the Bearsden and Milngavie Sports Club, which has held displays in previous years, also didn’t have an event this year.

The display at West of Scotland FC raised money for running costs of the club, Bearsden and Milngavie Highland Games, and charity.

Alan Oliver, one of the organisers, said: “We have had various degrees of success with the event over the years.

“Local competition in recent years, along with a growing number of people watching from outside the grounds, has made it difficult to generate the income required to sustain the event.

“Two years ago it was a complete disaster and we lost £1,000.

“It is run by volunteers and we have had no appetite since to invest a large amount of time and effort on such a risky venture.”

But Mr Oliver believes that a display in East Dunbartonshire would still be popular.

One possible solution would be for East Dunbartonshire Council to support an event to make up any loss.

Mr Oliver added: “I reckon eight out of ten years it would not cost the council a penny, they would just need to pick up a bill of around £1,000 to £2,000 if it rains.

“We have volunteers willing, local community sports clubs keen to host an event, we just need a bit of financial help to ensure that good causes don’t lose money again.”

Ann Davie, director of EDC’s Customer Services and Transformation, said: “Given increasing pressures on the council budget, with £6.9 million in savings identified for next year on top of nearly £50 million in recent years, we are simply not in a position to directly support any community groups in the delivery of a bonfire or firework event - or any other community event for that matter.

“The council does not fund firework displays in this area and recommends that people visit organised displays which are properly managed for health and safety.”