I read with interest the letter entitled "Health and safety meddling rains on towns' fancy dress parades" (5th August, 2010).
Health and safety regulations have been used as an excuse for the decline of fancy dress parades in Jedburgh and Kelso. I suggest that it is not the "HSE meddling" that has caused the reduction in number of parade floats, but more importantly, and as stated in the article, the real cause is the cost of insurance.
HSE in no way attempts to meddle in community parades and encourages people to have fun as long as risks are sensibly managed.
The reality is, that as long as organisers of events such as this adopt a common sense approach to health and safety and carry out a risk assessment to ensure that participants are safe, then events can flourish. If they don't then the real culprit - the cost of insurance - can be identified as the reason for any decline.
Dr Paul Stollard
Regional Director, Scotland
Health and Safety Executive
59 Belford Road