THE popular Mudeford Lifeboat Funday is likely to be cancelled after next year due to the “stress and heartache” caused by council red tape.

Organisers say licensing rules and paperwork enforced by BCP Council are making it too difficult to hold the event, despite its popularity and the thousands of pounds it raises for the RNLI.

The event is one of the biggest in the Christchurch calendar and has been attracting thousands of people for 25 years.

This year’s event was cancelled because adverse weather conditions made it too dangerous for those taking part but the 2018 fun day and auction raised an impressive £30,000.

Chairman Andy Denison said next year’s event could be the last.

“We are undecided yet, but it is in our minds to draw it to a close” he said. “Someone may wish to take it over, but we have kind of had enough. If it is going to cause this much added stress and heartache, it is not worth continuing.”

Mr Denison and organisers of other events have expressed frustration that licences have not been received until just days before the events are due to run.

He said BCP Council’s changes to licensing requirements mean oorganisers are forced to “drop everything, including their day jobs” to file “voluminous quantities of additional paperwork”.

Organisers have also been told they are required to attend an annual safety meeting with council officers, which was not a requirement previously.

Adrian Dwyer, retiring chairman of Stompin’ on the Quomps said: “Thankfully Christchurch isn’t like a Friday or Saturday night in Bournemouth, so the licensing requirements for Christchurch events need to be proportionate, and commensurate to the risk profile.

“I welcome with open arms a BCP expert casting an eye over our risk assessment to ensure we haven’t missed anything.

“It would be a great pity if, as a result of the merger, Christchurch events went the same way as the Shelley Park event in Bournemouth, Sorted in Dorset in Poole, or Party in the Park in Parkstone.

“I hope BCP listen to Christchurch. I am confident that in the coming year BCP will take on board the constructive suggestions that have been made, because not to do so would make Christchurch a less pleasant place to spend time than might have previously been the case.”

Head of Resort Marketing and Events at BCP Council Jon Weaver said: “The licences referred to are licences that give permission to use council land for events. .We recently held meetings with organisers to highlight the application process for 2020 and offer support.”