Strathclyde Country Park's popular fireworks display has been cancelled for a second year due to Covid-19 restrictions.

North Lanarkshire Council (NLC) say "they understand that people will be disappointed as it's an event which people enjoy attending each year".

In a social media statement, they stated: "We are currently in level 2 restrictions and although we anticipate moving to Level 0 at some point in the future, we are aware that COVID-19 is still very much with us and in line with government guidance, we are continuing to take a cautious approach to events that attract large crowds.

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"Although government guidance is currently being reviewed and updated for outdoor events, planning for this type of large-scale event would need to have been well underway.

"Thousands of people attend our fireworks event and a current assessment highlights that we would be unable to put in place safeguards such as ticketing, controlled entry and exit points, sanitisation points and Test and Trace contact collection due to the dispersed nature of the crowd.

"In addition, being an evening event and its complex location, it would be challenging to control numbers gathering at the park.

"The safety of our residents and staff is paramount and taking into account this and the current uncertainty around Covid-19, we have decided to postpone this event.

"We do look forward to planning a superb event in 2022 for everyone to enjoy."

Politicians have this week blasted the decision and have called for it to be overturned.

Central Scotland Conservative MSPs Graham Simpson and Meghan Gallacher have called the decision premature and have called for a rethink.

Graham Simpson MSP said: "“COVID cannot be used as an excuse for cancelling events like this at the end of the year.

"We are having a fan zone at the Euros and restrictions are easing. We need to get back to normal quickly now that the vaccine rollout is proving such a success.

“There is simply no reason for this event not to take place. The decision is premature and should be reversed.”

Meghan Gallacher MSP said: “I am disappointed that NLC has made the premature decision to cancel the fireworks display. Many families across North Lanarkshire enjoy this event each year and will have missed not being able to attend last year due to COVID restrictions.

“I urge the council to reconsider the cancellation of the display, to hold back until further guidance is issued on outdoor events.”

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