Poppy parades go ahead despite lack of police to manage traffic

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Remembrance Day parades will still take place despite the police’s decision not to carry out traffic management duties during them.

Veterans and members of the public will pay their respects over the weekend.

But organisers feared that some of the parades would not go ahead after the police forces said they want event organisers to arrange and pay for traffic management solutions for their parade.

This added cost put some of the parades at risk.

Peter Garratt, the Royal British Legion’s (RBL) Poppy Appeal organiser for Bourne and District, said: “It caused us an awful lot of problems. We were only offered one or two officers to close the roads.

“We worked with Bourne Town Council and the Len Pick Trust to resolve this.

“The Len Pick Trust has agreed to pay £804 for the traffic management.

“It’s ironic that we are having to call on another charity to run this event.

“Considering what the parade is about the police’s decision is disgusting.

“I bet there is no problem in shutting the roads in London for the Cenotaph parade.”

Adrian Smith, Len Pick Trust manager, said the charity was happy to support the parade calling it “integral”.

To take part in the Bourne parade report to the bus station by 10am for a 10.20am start. Anyone wishing to lay a private wreath should speak to the stewards at the Memorial Garden by 10.35am.

There will be a service at 10.45am followed by a two minutes silence. There will then be a service in the Abbey Church.

Organisers of the Poppy Appeal parade in Stamford are to have police officers carrying out traffic management duty this year.

It is unclear however if this will continue in 2018 or if it will be withdrawn.

To take part in the Stamford parade meet at Star Lane for 10.30am on Sunday for a 10.50am start. The march will head to the War Memorial for the Last Post and a two minutes silence plus wreath laying.

Alf Dewis, RBL Remembrance parade co-ordinator for Oakham, said: “We used to have a police car at the front and the rear of the parade and officers to control the traffic.

“This year they said that we had to put bollards out to stop the traffic. Luckily Rutland County Council and Tarmac have agreed to cover the cost of this which was about £500.

“If they hadn’t agreed to this then we would have had to pay the bill out of the money which we collected whcih could have been used to help someone in need.”

Marchers will leave the Market Place at 2pm before heading along the High Street to All Saints Church for a service at 2.30pm.

There will be a wreath laying at the war memorial at 3.15pm before the Lord Lieutenant of Rutland Laurence Howard, will take the salute near the Congregational Church, on High Street.

Marchers in Market Deeping will meet at 9.30am at the Co-op, in Godsey Lane for a parade to St Guthlac’s Church for a 10am church service, wreath laying and two minutes silence.

Phil Dilks, chairman of Langtoft and Deepings RBL, said: “The parade this year will be staffed by volunteers who will do road management duties. There were no concerns that the parade will not go ahead and it will be safe. It’s important that all parades go ahead.”

Poppies and crosses will also be placed at war graves on Saturday at 1pm in Deeping St James before heading to Market Deeping, Barholm, Langtoft and Baston.

There is also a service on Sunday at Priory Church, Deeping St James, at 3pm.

In Uppingham there is a service at the St Peter and St Paul Parish Church starting at 10am on Sunday. Mayor Alec Crombie will lay a wreath.

Chief Constable Bill Skelly said police had been working with parade organisers for the last 18 months to ensure events were “safe”.

He added: “I am delighted that so many have engaged with us and that many parades are now able to proceed with little or no impact on the other commitments that Lincolnshire Police have to provide daily policing.”

Chief Superintendent Andy Lee, of Leicestershire Police, said traffic management had an impact on the force’s “day to day operations and demands” which was ununsustainable.

Both force chiefs said they supported Remembrance Day and were keen to pay their respects.