Row erupts over security measures at town Gala

Pictures show the Penwortham gala 'Pictures by Paul Currie'07796 146931'
Pictures show the Penwortham gala 'Pictures by Paul Currie'07796 146931'
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Bouncers will be on the gates at Penwortham Gala for the first time.

Organisers say police concerns about behaviour last year has forced them to employ a team of security officers for the event on June 11 and 12.

A post on the ‘John Penwortham Gala’ Facebook page warning excess drink, dogs and groups of teenagers will not be tolerated, has drawn criticism from locals, but bosses insist they won’t be heavy-handed.

Fred Hodson of The Grove, Penwortham, said: “John is actually vilifying youth before the fact which is discrimitary under the Equality Act 2010. I am 68 now but will not be attending this year. There was very little trouble last year in fact I didn’t see any.”

Kathryn Lunn said: “My son plans to go with his friends, and I tell you what, if he isn’t allowed I will be submitting an official complaint.”

Penwortham Town Manager Steve Caswell, who is responsible for the page, said: “We had some issues last year with groups of lads and drink-fuelled stupidity, so for the first time we’re having security. Most people who attend won’t even notice, but it’s to keep the event family-friendly .”

He added: “I’ve seen the comments online and people have responded strongly, but it’s more an advisory thing.

“Will we be stopping people with well-behaved dogs going on a public park? No, but we will be advising people that it’s going to be busy and asking if they want to take their pet into that environment.

“Also, if we get a group of 10 teenagers not causing any bother, then that’s; fine. But if we get a group of 10 teenagers being rowdy, then no, they’re not coming in.

“The message is that if you’re looking for trouble at Penwortham Gala, you’re not going to get it.”

“This isn’t just a gala anymore, it’s a major event and we’ve got to take the security and safety to the next level.”