Visitors will only be able to get into the Queen Square event at three checkpoints and all bags will be searched. DJ Dicky Dodd will open the event at midday with family fun for the afternoon and then the live gigs, including Toploader, The Hoosiers, Lucy Spraggan, Kevin Simm and Pacific will take place from 6pm. Last year, visitors and shoppers could mill around Queen Square, but this year the area for the free event will be restricted.
People will only be able to access the site of the performances from three main entrances – on Dudley Street, Exchange Street and Lichfield Street. Each entrance will be manned by security staff and everyone will have their bag inspected before being allowed in. The site of the event will be thoroughly searched ahead of final set-up preparations being put in place.
Traffic restrictions also started at 8am today. Restrictions are due to be in place along Darlington Street at the junction of Waterloo Road, and along Lichfield Street from outside the Art Gallery to the junction of Princes Square. The organisers have also been working with the police who are carrying out patrols.
Cherry Shine, event manager, said: “We have changed the measures we had originally put in place after what happened in Manchester.
“Last year, at the 1980s fun fest event, we had enabled a free-flow of people throughout the centre throughout the day.
“Now, the flow of people will be controlled all day through the three entrances which will be manned by security staff.
“Our priority throughout the day is making sure people feel safe and secure and enjoy everything that Wolverhampton has to offer.”
The drinking of alcohol will be allowed in the site, though people attending must decant their booze into plastic cups provided by the organisers. A Public Space Protection Order (PSPO), which allows police to seize alcohol from people, in Queen Square will be lifted for the event. Cherry Shine said: “People will be able to bring in a reasonable amount of alcohol . No glass bottles will be allowed in . People will have to decant their alcohol into the plastic cups we will provide in order to be allowed in.
“By providing the plastic cups it limits the amount that people can bring in – I don’t know many people that can carry more than two plastic cups at a time.
“The PSPO is aimed at reducing street drinking to tackle anti-social behaviour .
This is an event that encourages people to come along and enjoy Wolverhampton . The focus is not on the alcohol . Every major city across the UK has events such . By working with the police and introducing these controls, we will avoid any problems.”
A spokesman for West Midlands Police said: “Armed response will not be policing the event.
“There will be an extra policing presence as it s a public event and staffed by local neighbourhood teams.”
Councillor Mike Hardacre, Labour councillor for Park ward, which is also covered by the PSPO said: “We want people to enjoy themselves and providing the necessary measures are put in place and it is properly stewarded then this decision to allow people to drink in the city centre does not seem unreasonable.”
Speaking about the enhance security measures, Councillor Hardacre continued: “It is very clear in my mind that security needs to be enhanced until the national security picture becomes clearer.
“It is only correct therefore that the local authority and other relevant authorities are taking these new measures that though not overly obtrusive, will better ensure that people can enjoy themselves safely and securely.”
The Civic Centre car park will be open from Wulfruna Street only and will have extended opening hours until 11pm . So will the NCP car parks in the city.
A pair of quick-thinking security guards at a Solihull shopping centre helped to evacuate terrified residents after a fire tore through the roof of a nearby tower block . The fearless guards at Chelmsley Wood1 Shopping Centre were on patrol when they spotted the flames and smoke coming from the top of the building in nearby Moorend Avenue. As shoppers watched the drama in horror, the brave duo sprinted across to the block, which is managed by Solihull 2Community Housing (SCH) and alerted the concierge to the danger.
Smoke from the fire in Chelmsley Wood
The plucky twosome, who would not be named, swiftly took to the stairs and banged on the doors of the flats in the 10 storey building. Residents told the Birmingham Mail they had been unaware of the blaze which could be seen for miles away after the fire took hold at around 1.45pm. Twenty-five firefighters3 tackled the incident and gave oxygen therapy to one man who was injured.
Residents from the top two floors were evacuated.
The fire at the block of flats in Moorend Avenue Chelmsley Wood (Photo: Handout)
One of the security guards said: There didn t seem to be a fire alarm in the block.
We tried to find one so that we could actually hit a panic button.
My colleague went to the top floor and I started on the fifth so we worked it between us.
We were there for about five to 10 minutes but it seemed longer.
We didn t think about it, we just went in to help . Then the fire brigade took over. Liberty Chester, who has a four year old daughter Lacie, said she didn t feel safe.
I m just glad Lacie wasn t there, she said.
If she had been she would not have gone back into the flat. The 24-year-old added: It was the security guards from the shopping centre who saw the smoke and ran over to tell us.
They tried to find the fire alarm but couldn t.
Then they began banging on all the doors to tell us.
We were waiting outside for maybe half an hour to 45 minutes.
We weren t told anything . Nobody knew what was going on.
One man was treated for minor burns and smoke inhalation.
Residents were allowed to return to their homes after the blaze was extinguished at about 3pm.
Chloe Moore, 18 and her mum Michelle Thomas at the scene of the fire in Chelmsley Wood
Michelle Thomas lives on the third floor and her daughter Chloe Moore lives on the top floor of the building. Michelle said: When I got there I saw a roofer who was working there . He tried to put it out himself and his arm was covered in bandages.
Chelsea Lee has lived in the block for 3 years . The 23-year-old said: Everyone looks out for each other here. Peter Stoate, a spokesman for SCH, said: We are pleased to report that the fire on the roof of Cheshunt House was quickly extinguished by the fire services .
One contractor working on the roof was treated at the scene but no tenants were injured.
Some tenants had to leave their homes for a couple of hours while safety procedures were followed but all were able to return soon afterwards.
Nightly security guard patrols have been removed from Dundee city centre, The Courier understands. Guards have patrolled City Square and the surrounding area on 12 hour shifts for several years. Patrollers were asked to check in at points throughout the centre while attempting to curb anti social behaviour.
Now it s claimed the patrols have been dropped by Dundee City Council. Night shift cover on the council s Dundee House building has also been removed, it s said. Dundee City Council refused to elaborate on the reported changes, citing security reasons for the refusal.
However the administration notes changes to security arrangements at Dundee House and City Square in its annual budget report. The changes, the administration claims, will involve improved risk management and more effective use of technology (which) will enable increased efficiency in this area . But The Courier has been informed by an industry source that a long-standing security arrangement for guards to patrol both the city centre and Dundee House has been withdrawn.
In 2014, figures emerged showing the council spends around 40,000 every year on security guards for City Square. At the time, Councillor Will Dawson, city development convener, said: Costs of vandalism and graffiti have greatly reduced since security was introduced at City Square.
The presence of security helps to protect property, while offering reassurance for staff who work in the square. Earlier this month, figures were published showing the administration has spent 250,000 on maintaining CCTV cameras in Dundee over the last four years.
In the last financial year alone, the council paid 69,371.33 refurbishing some of its 87 cameras. The most recent update from the local authority shows there are currently five with minor faults which are not working. The peak expenditure came in 2013/14 when 74,046.12 was spent maintaining the cameras
Commenting on the figures, Daniel Nesbitt, research director of Big Brother Watch,said: Dundee City Council should be regularly reviewing its CCTV network and if the cameras aren t making a difference then they should be scaled back.