Brunswick park firework display 2014 unanswered questions

Mr Carroll made this Freedom of Information request to Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Dear Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council,

I am writing to make an open government request for all the
information to which I am entitled under the Freedom of Information
Act and the Environmental Information Regulations.

In order to assist you with this request, I am outlining my query
as specifically as possible.

If however this request is too wide or too unclear, I would be
grateful if you could contact me as I understand that under the
act, you are required to advise and assist requesters.

(i) I am requesting a copy of the report into the investigation of the display at Brunswick Park last year where several people were injured.

The report above states within
"Sandwell Councillor Maria Crompton, whose department oversaw the event, said: “We are thoroughly investigating exactly what happened at Brunswick Park.” "

(ii) It is alleged that several calls were made on the public address system before the fireworks were set off with a delay of 20 minutes. Can you confirm that this was the case, and therefore on whose instruction on the night the firework display was told to commence? Which officer of the council gave the nod to commence the display on the night?
(iii) I am requesting any recorded information that you hold where any officer of the council admitted making a decision to proceed with the display despite the safety concerns.
(iv) Within the report, or separate to it, can you produce any recorded evidence or record of investigation which shows direct evidence that a faulty firework was to blame for this incident, and not your council's organisation of crowd control on the night?

I understand that under the act, I should be entitled to a response
within 20 working days.
I would be grateful if you could confirm that you have received
this request. I look forward to hearing from you in the near future
via the what do they know website address.

Yours faithfully,

Mr Carroll

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Thank you for contacting Sandwell Council.

Your request has been passed to the relevant service area, who will contact you shortly.

Please quote your reference number INT1-724416520 on all future correspondence.


Corporate Contact Centre
Customer Services
Transform Sandwell

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Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Mr Carroll,

Thank you for your enquiry.

I can advise you that you will receive a response from the relevant service area within twenty working days.

Please quote your reference number 1-724499208 in the subject field on all future correspondence.


Corporate Contact Centre
Customer Services
Transform Sandwell


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Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

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Mr Carroll left an annotation ()

This report, available for the first time to the public is not the story reported in local media, particularly The Wolverhampton Express and Star concerning "a faulty firework". One should take with a pinch of salt what local media sometimes report, because it is not always accurate or even unbiased. Sandwell council clearly admit responsibility for what transpired here, and the excuse of "intimidation" by the crowd is used to blame the crowd for the events that followed. Hollow to say the least.

James Weston left an annotation ()

A classic example of 'its only a free event, don't worry' gone wrong.

Why was there no sag meeting ?
Why was there no fencing / fenced off area for the public to be put into - spectators will usually be only happy not to stand in a restricted area, but only if they know its restricted !. The abuse comes when you try to move them from an unmarked area. In their minds, if its not fenced or marked off, then its a legitimate place to stand.

I would FOI for the event plan and risk asessments, see what they show.

And I bet the security company cant show any crowd safety training (level 2 in spectator safety).

Mr Carroll left an annotation ()

The Express and Star followed up their previous Council spin orientated reports with a more balanced reading of this internal report thanks to this FOI request and, and fair play to them for that.

A follow up request to the HSE has revealed that SMBC reported the incident at the time, though they have given very little information, especially concerning council officer culpability and failures under the HSE literature cited in the report. Only one casualty was reported, and I would urge anyone injured in this incident to report it to the HSE without delay.
The HSE have yet to investigate the incident. I trust SMBC will be fully co-operative and accept the findings without blaming "faulty fireworks" and accept "responsibility" of not following proper HSE procedures if that is what the HSE finds in its investigation.