From This is South Devon

THE HUGELY popular Dawlish airshow and carnival procession is under threat because of a lack of volunteers, organisers revealed today.

Dawlish carnival committee revealed it might be forced to pull the plug if it failed to attract at least 60 volunteers.

Extra pressure has been heaped on the 14-strong volunteer committee following a review of the police’s role in traffic management at public events.

Unless volunteers come forward by the end of June the committee says it will be forced to remove the three events from the calendar.

Committee chairman Warren Drew said: “We desperately need help and won’t leave any stone unturned until we get it.”

The committee has been forced to increase the number of its marshals after Devon and Cornwall Police informed local authorities that it was no longer responsible for traffic management.

Dawlish carnival committee says it needs 60 people to assist with the August airshow, procession and pram race, all of which require road closure notices to be put in place.

“Without local support we cannot run certain events,” said Mr Drew.

“Indeed, police stated at a recent safety meeting that they will stop any event on public roads if they feel it’s unsafe.

“We’re doing everything we can to try and get people involved,” he said. “The last thing we want is to cancel any of the events.

“We have advertised as widely as we can. We want anyone to come and help, even if it’s only for a couple of hours or half a day.

“Cancelling the airshow or procession would have a real impact on tourism, not just in Dawlish but elsewhere.

“Last year 100,000 people came to South Devon. It put Dawlish on the map.

“Traders benefited from the extra trade and caravan parks and accommodation providers would have taken extra bookings.”

In recent years police nationally have reviewed their role at public events.

Devon and Cornwall Police did the same and then wrote to local authorities outlining changes over the next 12 months.

A force spokesman said: “Devon and Cornwall Police will continue to support public events in the future and carry out the functions and roles for which we have responsibility.

“Event organisers have the responsibility for ensuring their events are properly planned and managed in relation to public and road safety.

“Negotiations are taking place locally with event organisers and local highway authority representatives concerning the future vision for event traffic management,” he said.

Dawlish Carnival celebrations will run from August 14 to 21.

Volunteers will get full training.

To apply, email or write to the committee care of the Manor House, Old Town Street, Dawlish.