PREVENTING the Passion play planned for the Cowley Road is exceptionally short-sighted and does little to erase an image of clipboard-holding council killjoys.

Actors marching up Cowley Road portraying those last harrowing moments of Jesus’ life was one of those events in 2012 that started from a small community idea and obviously caught the public’s imagination on the day.

Numbers swelled to about 200 back then as members of the public decided to follow the procession and it was hoped something similar would happen this Good Friday.

It just smacks of a “Cowley Road” event where people join in and surely we want to encourage this type of thing.

Yes, there are licensing rules in place to ensure large-scale events go off safely and smoothly but we are hardly talking about the Cowley Road Carnival here.

And, last time we looked, we still lived in a free country where people are able to congregate without seeking the permission of officialdom.

While the organisers could have been a little more aware of the council’s licensing rigmarole, it is not hard to feel that they are effectively being punished after innocently contacting the police as a matter of courtesy to let them know their plans.

Surely we want council officials who seek to help and not hinder our community groups.