“People were disappointed with the Platinum Jubilee celebrations,” says a Wallingford councillor.

Giles Cattermole was speaking after the town council’s working group decided to axe the fireworks and flotilla after concerns from residents about the impact on wildlife.

The postponement was announced a week before the bank holiday weekend on official town council platforms saying the event “may affect nesting and young wildlife” such as swans and cygnets.

READ MORE: Councillor to host private Jubilee fireworks after colleagues axe celebrations

However Mr Cattermole said the decision was “nonsense” and planned to host his own fireworks from his private garden as well as organise the flotilla without the council’s support.

“Both my firework plans and the flotilla were rained off,” he said. “I wasn’t here as I had other commitments and I didn’t get back until after midnight but I’m told that the morning wasn’t too bad but by the evening it was tipping it down.

“So all the fireworks we have are still there but the flotilla didn’t happen and the whole Jubilee Sunday was a bit of a wash out.

“Some people did attend the castle garden picnic but we didn’t light a beacon -  I think people were disappointed with the celebrations”.

READ MOREJubilee fireworks postponed after concerns from residents about wildlife

Mr Cattermole was disgusted with the decision by the working group to cancel the events and has reported his colleagues to the monitoring officer at South Oxfordshire District Council for making a decision “on behalf” of the council.

An extraordinary council meeting went ahead on Monday (6) to discuss the committee’s decision but Mr Cattermole said it was “futile” and no resolution was reached.

“It was a completely futile,” he said. “Firstly, the fireworks weren’t postponed they have been cancelled. If we do the fireworks now it will have nothing to do with the council.

“The fireworks and flotilla was supposed to be the highlight of the Sunday but it wasn’t and the working groups’ defence was all over the place.

“They said it’s not a council group it’s a citizens group so it doesn’t have council rules but their press release was written on council headed paper.

“They said the working group has been given a delegation to organise the jubilee events and the delegation covered cancelling them which I think is a terrible excuse.

“If I hire a window man to fix my windows, I’m giving him the delegation to do repairs, I am not giving him permission to smash them up completely and leave holes.”

READ MORE: All the road closures you need to know ahead of the Womens Tour in Oxfordshire

Mr Cattermole now hopes to create a new event separate from the council that can be celebrated in the town with fireworks and a flotilla such as a “mini regatta”.


Read more from this author

This story was written by Gee Harland, she joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Wallingford and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Gee.harland@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

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