Cash threat to Bonfire Night and fireworks display at Beverley Westwood
THE future of East Yorkshire's biggest free bonfire night could be under threat.
The Beverley Lions firework display on the Westwood was attended by more than 10,000 people last year.
But this year organisers face paying hundreds of pounds for a private security firm to monitor road closures.
Lions member Les Ford, who has been meeting with police about security for this year's event, said: "The police say they can't afford to put men on duty. They say if there are any issues officers will attend but other than that they won't be there.
CAR KEYS AND REMOTES "FREE REMOTE KEY FOB BATTERY" 01482 423414 ...View details
FOR ALL YOUR CAR KEY NEEDS CALL US NOW ON
SNAPPED KEYS, LOST KEYS, KEYS LOCKED IN VEHICLES,
WE ALSO REPAIR 90% OF ALL REMOTES AND KEYS, NO FIX NO CHARGE.
Terms: FREE REMOTE KEY FOB BATTERY ONE PER CUSTOMER
Contact: 01482 423414
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"The police normally help us out with traffic management. East Riding Council does the road closures and they're still going to help us but the police won't.
"This year's event will definitely go on, we've said that already. But next year's is in doubt."
Attendance at last year's Westwood bonfire was double what it had been on previous occasions.
The increase was credited to Hull City Council cancelling its firework display, citing budget cuts.
The £35,000 display, which usually lasts for 15 minutes, was axed in favour of four weeks of festive lights in the city.
A spokesman for the city council confirmed it will again not be staging its display.
The Beverley Lions bonfire costs about £5,000 to put on, all funded by the charity. Volunteers carry donation buckets and do all the organising and cleaning up themselves.
Mr Ford said: "Last year we weren't really prepared for the numbers, but this time we are more prepared.
"Over the years the bonfire has always been done as a service for the community.
A Humberside Police spokesman said: "The responsibility for the event falls to the event organiser and, in particular, the traffic management.
"On a pre-planned event when traffic management issues are expected, the police cannot utilise emergency powers and road closures need to be applied for by the event organisers through the relevant local authority.
"The event was brought to the Safety Advisory Group, (comprising of a number of agencies) who are there to advise on all aspects of the event management and safety. Through the safety advisory group, it was highlighted to the organisers that the management of their event is the responsibility of the organisers.
"For the past three years the police have provided resources to assist with the delivery of this event and will be policing the bonfire night event; ensuring public safety, and maintaining and managing crime and disorder, however the police will not be staffing road closures and managing traffic that is a result of the event being held."
The bonfire is due to start at 7.15pm. Details about road closures will be announced nearer the time.