Richmond Town Council is to write to MP Rishi Sunak and the North Yorkshire’s police commissioner in protest at a decision by North Yorkshire Police not to manage traffic at its annual Remembrance Day Parade.
The council received a letter last month to inform it that the force would no longer be managing the traffic during the road closures at the large event with immediate effect.
The decision means the cost of employing a traffic management company, which is a legal requirement, would have to be paid in future by the town council.
The council said in a statement after discussing the issue at its July meeting: “Richmond’s annual Remembrance Day Parade is a large and important event and very well supported and appreciated by the community, supported by our strong links to the nearby garrison at Catterick.
“The discussion and vote at the full council meeting agreed that the parade should go ahead, with the cost being taken from taxpayers’ reserve.
“The parade is a vital annual event and it is important that we as a community pay our respects to those who gave their lives in all conflicts.
“It was also agreed that letters should be sent to Rishi Sunak MP, the Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police and also to the Police and Crime Commissioner to protest at this change and also the lack of notice.
“Our budget is set in January of each year and there was no allocation for this cost.”
Defending the decision to stop managing traffic at parades, North Yorkshire Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Elliot Foskett said last month that it was a “difficult but lawful decision” to stop providing traffic management support to 32 smaller Remembrance Day events in North Yorkshire and the City of York.
The officer said that under the Traffic Management Act 2004, which placed the responsibility on the local authority and event organisers, the larger Remembrance Day events in the area had employed traffic management companies to ensure public safety.
He added: “However, for many years, North Yorkshire Police has continued to provide a traffic management function to the smaller Remembrance Day events.
“In line with the legislation, the National Police Chiefs’ Council and the College of Policing have stressed that policing should not take responsibility for closing roads or managing traffic, other than in an emergency.
“This is to make sure police resources remain focused on tackling crime and anti-social behaviour.”