HEALTH and safety regulations that scuppered a traditional May fair in Devizes last year and caused a major protest have been overcome in time for this year's Lions event on May 7.

The Lions were forced to cancel 2017's annual Market Place event after Wiltshire Council asked for pages and pages of documents to be filled in and even asked organisers if they had a terror plan in place.

But stalwarts of the group were determined the fair would make a comeback this year and drafted in extra advice to make sure they could satisfy Wiltshire Council's demands.

Lion Doug Simpson said: "Last year Devizes Lions had to cancel their traditional May fair after a lot of fruitless negotiations with Wiltshire Council. Lion Tony Scorer said after that experience we would be much better prepared this year.

"We did lots of research on getting good event plans and were able to persuade Wiltshire Council that we had it right and had a lot to offer the town.

"It took a lot of work and help from Devizes Council, health and safety experts, local organisations and Wiltshire Council, but now Devizes Lions have got permission to run their annual May Fair on Monday 7th May.

"It will occupy most of the Market Place and the Corn Exchange from 9am until 3pm. There will be lots of traditional events including live music, Punch and Judy, The Male Majorettes, steam engines, rides and bouncy castles, stalls, and refreshments."

"There will be lots of fun for the family on May Day in Devizes.”

Last year grandfather Peter Fletcher was so incensed by the red tape that he created an effigy of a health and safety officer and paraded it in the Market Place on the day the fair should have taken place.

Scores of people turned out to show their support for his protest and to mock Wiltshire Council's decision. A number of people also wrote to the Gazette expressing astonishment at the need for such strict regulations after Lion Roger Stratton said the organisation could not comply with ever increasing demands that included a plan in case of terrorist attack and for water, sun hats and sun screen to be made available.

But Wiltshire Council said it had a responsibility to ensure events were run as safety as possible. It promised to work with the club this year to help the fair go-ahead.