Walsall Council’s Cabinet meets next week and will be considering the Council’s future approach for financial support to Remembrance Day Parades.
Cabinet will be asked to agree to make a financial contribution for traffic management to event organisers of the independent Parades which took place this year. This would be 30% of traffic management costs, up to a cap of £1,000 per Parade, for the years 2017, 2018 and 2019, with the contribution being reviewed in the financial year 2019/20.
The report is being presented to Cabinet following the Summer review by the Police of their Safety First Policy. In line with this updated Policy, the Police would no longer be able to provide temporary traffic management support for Remembrance Day parades in Walsall.
This change in policy naturally created a great deal of local concern and in response, Walsall Council’s Corporate and Public Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee set up a working group to consider a way forward.
To ensure Parades were not disrupted, Walsall Council and the Police and Crime Commissioner agreed to share costs for traffic management for this year only and ten parades successfully went ahead.
The Remembrance Sunday Working Group presented their findings to Cabinet in October 2016 and Cabinet resolved to consider a report at its meeting on 14 December 2016.
The report Cabinet will consider recognises that the Council does not currently have the resources to organise and manage Remembrance Parades, apart from the Civic Parade in Walsall Town centre.
Leader of Walsall Council, Councillor Sean Coughlan said: “Our communities have traditionally turned out in large numbers across the borough to commemorate those who have given their lives in the service of our country.
As a Council, we are committed to helping our communities to make a positive difference to their own lives through active civic engagement and it is important that careful consideration be given to ensuring these remembrance events continue to take place in the future. We do, however, have a challenging financial position to contend with for the foreseeable future.
Despite this, I am pleased to be able to recommend a Council contribution for the next three years to give event organisers some certainty – particularly so they can start their fundraising efforts for 2017 in earnest.”