Highland Council has made a U-turn on its ban of bouncy castles in the region after the move was deemed “insane” by a local business.
The authority initially said it was putting a “foreseeable pause” on the letting of inflatable castles at its premises for health and safety reasons.
It also claimed the size of the Highlands was making it difficult for its staff to get to venues, such as the region’s more than 200 schools, to carry out thorough risk assessments.
Speaking to the Inverness Courier last week, a council spokesperson said the ban had been put in place due to concerns over accidents.
They said that while the council recognised that bouncy castles and slides were a much-loved addition to local events, hired inflatables required thorough risk assessments and quality checks by experienced staff.
At the time, Inverness-based inflatables firms Mascot Madness Entertainment had challenged Highland Council’s decision, asking for a detailed explanation of how they arrived at the conclusion.
Business owners Danielle and Aly said: “This proposed insane ruling will be impossible to enforce and police at any time.
“Do they also expect to impose this on the many residents within the Highland region who occupy residential council-owned properties?
“We are currently fearing for the future of our business, and it also means that kids are missing out again.”
However, on Wednesday, the council reversed its decision, in an effort to act “in a way that does not impact unnecessarily on community activities”.
The authority said that further discussion had resulted in updated conditions of let requirements in the area, which will be shared with venues and contractors alike.
The conditions will allow the council to ensure:
- That for any event, inflatables meet all required safety standards.
- Operators and contractors can prove that they have carried out appropriate risk assessments.
- Operators and contractors hold the appropriate insurance to cover risk to users of the inflatables, and to cover any other risks that can arise from their use on council premises.