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‘There’s nothing for kids in Dundee anymore’: Families furious over axed firework displays

Fireworks cancelled in Dundee by councillors.
Fireworks cancelled in Dundee by councillors.

Families in Dundee are furious over Dundee City Council’s decision to axe their public firework displays.

All public firework displays at Dundee’s Baxter and Lochee parks have been cancelled for the foreseeable future, leaving many families disappointed.

The free events bring crowds of around 25,000 people to each display – around a third of the city’s population.

Scott Duncan, 52, of Forest Park Road, Dundee, used to take his own children to the displays when they were young and now his daughters take his grandchildren.

Scott Duncan.

He said: “They love it, they’ll be so disappointed to hear it’s cancelled.

“It’s one of those things everyone looks forward to at that time of year – there’s three things; Halloween, fireworks and Christmas.

“There’s nothing for kids in Dundee any more, no swimming, no bowling. When I grew up we were playing football or out, kids run amok now because there’s nothing for them to do.”

Why have Dundee firework displays been cancelled?

A study was carried out by the emergency services and it revealed the venues are no longer suitable for large gatherings.

The report was presented to councillors at the city development committee meeting on Monday, who agreed to cancel the displays due to the safety concerns.

Phil Welsh, of West Park Road, Dundee, says he thinks the decision is short-sighted as it is likely to encourage people to attempt to host their own displays.

He said: “There will be a backlash when the supermarkets sell fireworks and there are no organised displays.

“It will encourage people to have unsafe displays in their back garden.”

Phil Welsh.

The 53-year-old usually attends the displays at Lochee Park with his daughter and granddaughter, and they enjoy making a family outing of the event.

He added: “It’s something the kids look forward to, it’s going to be missed by a lot of people.

“I understand they have to make sure it’s safe for everyone and follow emergency procedures, but if that is the case and it can’t be risk assessed properly then does that signify all public events will be cancelled in the future?

“What about all the corporate events where they make money, or things like the Fake Festival in Balgay Park – will those continue?

Aimiee MacFarlane and Riley Markie at the Lochee Park fireworks in years gone by.

“It seems a bit strange they are cancelling a free event rather than a corporate one.”

£50,000 saving

By not putting on the two events, the council will save £50,000 which council leader John Alexander has suggest could be spent on Christmas events instead.

However no commitments or plans have been put in place with how the money will be spent.

During the committee meeting, Mr Alexander said: “We’re living in a cost of living crisis…and we’re literally talking about an event where we put £50,000 and set it on fire for a 15 minute display…I get all the other issues discussed (but)…there is no material benefit.”

Dundee City Council cancels firework displays for foreseeable future

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