A local council in Cornwall intervened to prevent a father-of-three providing a communal bouncy castle for local children, as it feared a potential influx of personal injury claims.
Scott Truscott, 40, had set up the giant inflatable toy on a communal stretch of lawn outside homes in Falmouth for youngsters to enjoy.
Mr Truscott had ensured that the children were supervised by up to four adults at a time and had even gone to the trouble of erecting a safety fence around the castle.
Potential for injury
However, after a neighbour informed the local council of the practice taking place, Mr Truscott was ordered to remove the castle immediately.
Cornwall Council was responsible for the lawned area outside the properties as it was a communal space and therefore, the authority was liable for personal injury claims in the event of any children hurting themselves.
Understandably, Mr Truscott was frustrated by what he saw as a community-spirited gesture aimed at occupying children close to their homes during the long summer holiday – particularly as he had gone to some length to implement certain safety features and practices.
Although the children were left deflated by the Council’s ruling, Mr Truscott did acknowledge that he could see the Council’s point of view.
He said: “Some days we have 30 kids here. they’re not causing trouble. At the end of the day it’s just children having fun.”
Cornwall Council responded to the issue with a statement explaining its stance, which explained the legal background as to how it was leaving itself open to compensation claims had it ignored Mr Truscott’s practice.
A council spokesman said: “As the organisation responsible for managing the land, Cornwall Housing has a legal responsibility for any activities which take place.
“Allowing Mr Truscott to operate the bouncy castle would mean that we were giving him formal permission to continue and we would, therefore, be liable if any children were injured.”