Highland Council Bans Bouncy Castles over Health and Safety

Highland Council says it has put a stop to the hiring of bouncy castles at its premises for health and safety reasons.

The authority also said the huge size of its region made it difficult for its staff to get to venues to carry out thorough risk assessments.

Inverness-based inflatables business Mascot Madness Entertainment has challenged the council to fully explain its decision.

Details of the ban first emerged in a row reported by the Inverness Courier.

Highland Council said it recognised that inflatables, such as bouncy castles and slides, were a much-loved addition to local events.

But a spokesman said that because of concerns about accidents the local authority had put in place “a foreseeable pause on the hiring of inflatables”.

It said hiring inflatables required thorough risk assessments and quality checks by experienced staff.

The spokesman said: “The reality of our wonderful and dynamic landscape is that its considerable size, access to some locations and availability of appropriate staff, creates challenges which mean that is not possible to carry out the checks needed, which occur multiple times a year across a vast estate of over 200 schools.

“Therefore, until we have the structures in place to meet these requirements, a regrettable pause will be placed on the hire of inflatables.”

The Highland Council area represents a third of the land area of Scotland.

The spokesman added: “We appreciate and thank our communities continued understanding in this decision to safeguard attendees at our local events.

“We hope that families will look forward to their upcoming fairs, and enjoy the day with the other activities on offer.”

But Mascot Madness Entertainment has challenged the council to explain when the temporary ban was put in place, how the decision was reached and how many accidents it had recorded in the region.

The business’ Danielle Stewart said: “The local communities which we serve are fully behind us and have a complete lack of understanding towards this decision and firmly believe as do we that events are still able to go ahead safely with inflatables present.

“The response so far from members of the public is that of shock and astonishment that this decision has been made and firmly believe that many local events will be ruined by this.”

She added: “We are currently fearing for the future of our business, and it also means that kids are missing out again.”

Source: BBC News