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Public safety concerns raised ahead of cheese rolling event

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The Tewkesbury Borough Safety Advisory Group (SAG) has raised concerns over public safety at the annual cheese rolling event on Coopers Hill.

The event, which is taking place on Bank Holiday Monday (27 May), attracts thousands of people to the site near Brockworth.

The SAG consists of various agencies, including the emergency services, who work together to promote high levels of safety and welfare at events by giving advice and guidance.

Members have asked those organising the cheese rolling to help them understand their plans for the event and how they intend to deal with issues around traffic and parking on the day.

Despite numerous attempts by the SAG to engage with those individuals that help co-ordinate the day – who have a responsibility to run a safe event – they have not provided this information or submitted plans detailing how they will keep members of the public safe.

A particular concern raised by members of the SAG is how emergency services would be able to respond if there was a major incident with multiple casualties.

At last year’s cheese rolling event a number of people suffered medical episodes and injuries which required emergency treatment by paramedics. Double-crewed ambulances and rapid response vehicles struggled to gain access to the site for a prolonged period of time.

This put a strain on the resources of both Gloucestershire Constabulary and South West Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, impacting emergency service provision.

Gloucestershire Constabulary’s Assistant Chief Constable Arman Mathieson said: “The cheese rolling at Coopers Hill is a unique tradition in our county and we have no desire to stop it.

“However, the SAG has again declared the event unsafe and we therefore have a duty to share this with the public.  

“We are advising those who intend to attend or participate in the cheese rolling to consider the risk they might be putting themselves at.”

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