The carnival season has yet again kicked off in Somerset. The annual parades through our Somerset towns and the city entertains thousands of residents throughout November.

Many townspeople have been working tirelessly on the carnivals over the past year and hundreds of hours have been put in by the clubs and committee members, but have you ever thought of how Somerset Council contributes to helping the Carnivals run smoothly?

The Council’s largest contribution is the mammoth clear up that happens overnight to restore the towns to pristine condition by 7am the mornings following carnival night.

  • In Bridgwater, work started at 3am and involved three HGV Mechanical Sweepers and 18 members of staff. They collected 11 tonnes of waste left by the 150,000 spectators and took eight hours to clean the 2.5 mile route.
  • The Burnham-on-Sea clean up starts around 4am and takes about five hours.
  • In total, a team of 40 staff cleanse the streets of Shepton Mallet, Wells and Glastonbury and collects 20 tonnes of waste.

Somerset Council also contribute in the following ways to support carnival organisers:

  • Somerset Council works with Carnival committees by inviting them to attend Safety Advisory Groups (SAG) to submit their event management plans. SAG membership includes the local authority, blue light services and traffic services. SAG members review the plans and offer advice and guidance and bring them up to date with current best practice, including licensing advice for Street Trading consent and alcohol sales.
  • Somerset Council support carnival committees by offering them use of selected car parks.
  • Environmental Health Officers undertake pre-event background checks on catering units including registration, food ratings and previous inspection outcomes to ensure the food and drink on sale at the events meet good hygiene standards.
  • The Council arranges the hire of temporary public loos.
  • The organisers apply for various road closures from the Council to accommodate the dozens of carnival floats, which allows crowds to enjoy safely. The Council works with the committees to agree Traffic Management Plans for the events and processes the legal orders to facilitate temporary road closures and parking restrictions.
  • Officers are present in the carnival event control room supporting and monitoring the traffic operation for the duration of the event.
  • The Council’s CCTV team works closely with the Police over the carnival period to ensure safety and reduce crime and disorder issues during the carnival.

When you are making your way home, spare a thought for the staff who are just starting work on the clean-up. Please help them by taking your litter home.

Learn about the Carnival here:

CCTV shot of a street in Bridgwater before and after the clean up following carnival night 2022.

About this article

November 13, 2023

Jade Chant


Press Release