Renfrewshire’s Provost has insisted it would be a “huge mistake” for council chiefs to plough on with the area’s usual events calendar this year.

At this point in 2020, autumn and winter celebrations, including Paisley’s fireworks display and Christmas lights switch-ons in Johnstone and Renfrew, had been scrapped due to a ban on mass gatherings to protect people from coronavirus.

Renfrewshire Council has said it is still “looking at options” for how the events could be held safely this year, with the vast majority of restrictions set to be lifted in the coming months.

However, Provost Lorraine Cameron has urged the council not to push ahead with the festivities amid ongoing concern over the spread of Covid-19.

She insisted giving the events a green light would put parents in a “compromising position” and called for smaller ones to be organised to mark occasions such as Hallowe’en and Christmas in a safer way.

“I think the next couple of weeks will be very important [for event organisation] in terms of whether we’re back to normal or not,” said Provost Cameron.

“I’m still uneasy, I’ve got to be honest. I would rather we just did something a lot smaller and a lot safer, perhaps not a big gathering but maybe something people could visit or pass by.

“In my opinion, it would be a huge mistake to hold something like the Hallowe’en Festival.

“I wouldn’t want to put people in that compromising situation. When you’ve got kids and they know these things are on, they’ll just want to get to them and the parents will feel under pressure.

“I’ve been there and I don’t want to do that to people.”

Cases do appear to be declining in Renfrewshire but remain high.

In the seven days to July 18, a total of 520 new infections were recorded in the local area, compared to 631 the previous week.

The seven-day test positivity rate fell from 9.5% to 8.3% but anything above 5% is still considered a concern.

A council spokesman said: “We are currently looking at options for our winter events programme in line with the latest Scottish Government guidance.

“More information on these events will be shared at a later date.”