Our Say - Jackie Mitchell, editor, Journal and Gazette

161211 Jackie Mitchell
161211 Jackie Mitchell

HARD-WORKING volunteers are angry and worried this week, fearing that red tape could price their good causes out of the game.

It’s infuriating when paperwork and safety legislation - however well intentioned - gets in the way of hard work, especially at a cost.

West Lothian Council is still drafting its policy on just what it clasess as public entertainment - but the long list of possibilities is confusing everyone, and the legal advice to sort it all out may not be cheap.

Imagine you had to stomp up £79 for a licence to run your occasion; worth it for the main event, but what if your civic fortnight has dozens of events around the town - will you need to pay dozens of fees? And, will people turn out to fundraisers for your good cause if they think the money is partly going to admin costs?

The council needs to work out where it’s going with this and publish the results in an easy to understand format. And it needs to cut local groups some slack if it wants thriving community events to carry on in all their glory.