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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 April 2007, 14:20 GMT 15:20 UK
Duck race cancelled over red tape
Plastic ducks
More than 1,000 plastic ducks would have been racing
A charity duck race has been cancelled because of health and safety rules.

Every Easter Monday crowds of people line Upper Dam in Lymm, Cheshire, to watch more than 1,000 plastic ducks bob along the river.

But the event's popularity has led to its downfall as council officials have ordered organisers Lymm Round Table to close a nearby road on safety grounds.

However, Warrington Borough Council is refusing to fund the closure and the Round Table says it cannot afford to.

The 3,000 cost of closing the road makes staging the event financially unviable, says James Phipps, chairman of Lymm and District Round Table.

Litigation culture

He added: "The cost of this closure is prohibitive in regard of the typical funds that can be raised during the event.

"We are sorry to disappoint the community given this is the first such cancellation of the event in a long history of incident-free Easter Mondays.

"Lymm Round Table is made up from a bunch of guys who work hard in their day jobs, however, the increasing culture of the country for litigation is having a displacing effect on such events."

A spokeswoman for Warrington Borough Council said that budget constraints were behind the council's inability to fund the road closure in Lymm.

However, she added that the council did fund road closures for several other community events in Lymm throughout the year.

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