A bouncy castle collapsed as children played on it – because an automatic noise detector cut the power supply.
The device, installed at Quedgeley Community Centre, cuts the power if noise in the room reaches a certain level in a bid to shield School Lane residents from noisy parties.
Councillor Graham Smith, vice chairman of Quedgeley Parish Council, which runs the centre, said the device had become their ‘own worst enemy’ and that the party was left ‘in a panic’ although nobody was injured during the incident.
Mr Smith said: “We have had complaints from a user. It was almost like a health and safety issue. In Hall 1, which is the large hall, there was a children’s party with music. Children were playing, dancing around and on a bouncy castle.
“Over the years we’ve been discussing with Environmental Health about monitoring noise. We’ve got equipment in this building to shut the power to any discos or the 13amp circuits in the building when the noise reaches a certain level.
“The problem we had last Sunday was that the kids were playing on the bouncy castle. They had the music playing. It wasn’t that loud but it shut down and the bouncy castle collapsed on the kids.
“There was a big panic and they rang me. I couldn’t find a way around it. Now we’ve got this monitoring equipment in, it has become our own worst enemy. I’m in discussions with the environment people as to how we can compromise that situation.”
He added that he had offered to discuss a £40 refund for the room hire. Councillors approved the refund on Monday night.
The venue is regularly used by hirers for events such as children’s birthday parties.
Quedgeley Parish Council also runs the Waterwells Sports Centre and the temporary community centre in Kingsway – and parish councillors are bidding to run the estate’s new community centre when it opens in August.
Councillors’ fears that the new sports ground, adjacent to the centre, will not be handed over by Gloucester City Council in time for the new football and cricket seasons were allayed this week.
A spokesman for Gloucester City Council said: “We are still on track for a hand over in August.
Paperwork for the bidding process is due to go out by the end of this week with proposals being invited by mid July.”