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Brownies and Guides banned from singing carols in shopping centre


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Brownies and Guides banned from singing carols in shopping centre - because of health and safety risk


By Daily Mail Reporter

Last updated at 12:05 PM on 27th November 2008



article-1089942-029E0142000005DC-427_233x356.jpg Brownies and guides will not be singing at a shopping centre this Christmas to avoid 'chaos'


Carol singing brownies and guides have been banned from a shopping centre because they are considered a health and safety risk.

The girls, whose ages range from five up to teenagers, have sung for pensioners and disabled people at a late night Christmas shopping event at the Marlowes centre in Hemel Hempstead, Herts for more than 20 years.

But the centre's managers have not invited the 100+ members of the Rainbows, Brownies and Guides this year because they will obstruct fire escape routes.

Today, West Herts Guides Division Commissioner Gill Oxtoby said: 'It is a big event for us. Last year we had more than 100 girls and they and the shoppers really enjoyed the singing.

'It's such a shame because it's been a long tradition going on for more than 20 years and has allowed the girls to give some service to the community.

'We weren't even told that we couldn't attend. I went to ask what date it was and that's when I found out.'

The centre has offered to allow 20 girls to sing at the event next Tuesday, but Gill said: 'We can't do that, it wouldn't be fair to the others.'

Bosses at the centre say a Christmas tree positioned outside New Look and new mobile trade stalls have limited the number of performers the centre can host at one time.

Marketing manager Eileen Gannon said: 'With changes made to the centre's Christmas decorations and trade units there simply isn't space for a huge number of performers.

'We're disappointed, but our priority has to be the safety of people inside the centre.'

She said the new rules were open to change in the future, as decisions made on decorations in the centre are different each year.

Another centre worker said: 'There were a lot of Brownies last year and they caused absolute chaos.'

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