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Lincoln Christmas Market: Behind the scenes in the control room

By SMorris_LE  |  Posted: December 07, 2013

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As thousands of people flock to the Lincoln Christmas Market, a team are busy monitoring CCTV and making sure everything goes to plan in the control centre.

Members of the emergency services are working alongside their colleagues from the City of Lincoln Council and security firms at the Cathedral Centre to keep all the visitors safe.

And John Latham, director of development and environment services at the City of Lincoln Council, said the hub went into overdrive when the city lost power yesterday.

"It was a very interesting place to be when that all happened," he said.

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"All the different services were talking it through and started making contingency plans.

"It was very intense but nobody was panicking.

"it is an interesting place to work from. We feel a bit detached from the market watching it on TV screens yet you are only yards away.

"There have been a few incidents we have had to deal with, mainly due to the weather but we haven't had anything major yet."

The control centre is where the city's CCTV network is monitored during the market and the flow of visitors is also regularly checked to avoid any bottlenecks.

And Mr Latham believes from looking at the cameras, visitor numbers are on the rise.

"I think Thursday and Friday were down a little, maybe because of the weather," he said.

"Today is looking very busy.

"The park and ride numbers are high and we have about 130 coaches operating."

Lincoln Castle remained shut for the first five hours of the market and Mr Latham said the decision was both difficult and straightforward at the same time.

"It was both a difficult and easy decision. At the end of the day, the decision had to be made on the grounds of public safety," he said.

"When I was making the decision, I knew it was going to have an impact on market traders who have invested lots of money as well as visitors.

"At the end of the day, the advice we had was it was not safe to open.

"We had some stall holders that said they did not feel like they wanted to open because of the conditions.

"I think the atmosphere this year is fantastic and it is really positive.

"After the severe crowding in 2011 and the one way issues last year, this year will go down as a good one."

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  • Chas24  |  December 09 2013, 5:17AM

    City of Lincoln Council, "Let's make the castle safe ?", "no" ," let's turn it into the shambles like before, one way etc etc, because the public know we only have 12 months to prepare".

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