I don't buy the sincerity of the town council's quoted regrets. How can they believe an assessment of the risk as serious of a task which has been performed without mishap for 150 years? Sometimes it seems we are not dealing with mere political correctness in Britain, but with the suspension of reason itself. If they are afraid of being sued, I am sure an insurance company will cover them with a flawless one and a half century safety record.
No wonder there are so many swearbloggers. Relaxed as I am after a wonderful holiday, Anglo-Saxon expressions sprang unbidden to my mind as I read the linked story. As did the memory of a young gardener at our hotel in Lyon last week, balanced at the top of a huge step ladder. He was wielding a huge and scary electrical lance to trim tall topiary alongside a steep drop to the street below. He was adult, careful and expert. He did a great job and moved on, all unconcerned. We can't blame Europe for infantilising our culture this time. We have only ourselves to blame.