COUNCIL bosses in East Yorkshire have defended their stance over kite-flying on beaches after they were named on a list of “bizarre” safety crackdowns.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) included East Riding of Yorkshire Council on a rundown of strange or unnecessary regulations seen across the UK this year, following a story which claimed the authority was banning families from flying kites on the sands at Bridlington and other coastal towns.
But the council says no such restriction has ever been put in place and it was merely bringing in new beach byelaws modelled on Government guidance.
It was now looking to ensure kite-drawn buggies and stunt and power kites did not cause a nuisance to other people or pose safety risks.
Talks are being held with clubs and groups to designate specific areas for these activities, and the authority said it had clarified its position in the same newspaper which published the original story, sparking its inclusion on the HSE list.
On its website, the HSE said: “Health and safety legislation exists to protect people from real risks at, or connected with, work, but it can be hard to see this from some of the stories which are reported.”
The list also included dodgem cars at the Butlin’s holiday camp in Skegness being prevented from bumping into each other and tennis officials closing Wimbledon’s “Murray’s Mound” during wet weather, citing health and safety reasons.
Darren Stevens, the council’s head of culture and information, said: “I want to make it clear children can fly kites on our beaches and there is no ban in place.
“Flying kites of any kind on the East Riding’s beaches is not banned, never has been banned and there are no plans to ban it in the future.
“We know our beaches are one of the main attractions in the area and we work hard to manage them to a high standard, ensuring they are fun and relaxing places and are kept clean, well-signed and safe.”
He said the byelaws also covered tombstoning, lighting beach fires and interference with life-saving equipment, and that the council was advising larger kites should be flown in quieter beach areas.
He said: “All the council wants is for residents and visitors to enjoy the beaches and promenades safely and without disturbance so they can participate in a range of activities, including flying kites, to their heart’s content.”