Hopes Hucknall's iconic Remembrance Day parade will be back after shock axe this year
Hopes have been raised that the iconic Hucknall Remembrance Day parade from the town centre, which attracts hundreds of residents, will be back next year after having to be scrapped for next month.
The Dispatch reported that the attraction, part of events to honour the 500-plus service personnel from the town who have given their lives in worldwide conflicts, would not be going ahead as planned.
The town’s Royal British Legion (RBL) branch, which organises the event alongside a service of remembrance at the cenotaph on Titchfield Park, revealed that there were issues surrounding public liability insurance.
The Dispatch was told Ashfield District Council had withdrawn direct involvement, which included providing insurance around road closures needed for the parade.
But in response to this, Coun John Wilmott, councillor for Hucknall North, has asked Nottinghamshire County Council to take over the parade for next year and work with the local Royal British Legion to bring back the event.
He said: “As the county council are responsible for our highways it seems common sense for them to take it over and work with the police, Ashfield District Council, the Royal British Legion and other interested parties to deliver a parade that is a major part of Hucknall’s calendar.
"There is no argument between your Ashfield Independent councillors, Ashfield District Council and the local British Legion in Hucknall.
“The Hucknall Royal British Legion are the organisers of the event but our events’ team at the council are assisting as ever.
"The council’s external auditors have stated categorically that the council cannot be responsible for insurance liabilities for events they don’t organise.”
Major Michael Howard, secretary of Hucknall Royal British Legion (RBL), which organises the tribute, said: “I agree with Coun Wilmott the there is no argument between Ashfield councillors, Ashfield District Council and the Hucknall British Legion.
"Over the years we have worked together to bring a full Remembrance Parade to Hucknall.
"The issue is the British Legion is just not allowed to organise Remembrance Parades that require road closures.
"I am pleased that Coun Wilmott has confirmed that in response to the insurance issues he has asked Nottinghamshire County Council to take over the parade for next year and work with us at the Legion.”
A full Remembrance service will still be held at Titchfield Park on Sunday, November 14 at 10.50am with a short parade within the park, including a band, from the top car park near the cafe to the cenotaph.
Coun Neil Clarke, chairman of the transport and environment committee at the county council, said: “We fully support Remembrance Day parades and make all the necessary legal arrangements for the roads to be closed free of charge. This is the case for armed forces and charity events generally, saving organisers over £500.
“With road closures in place, Parade organisers are then responsible for public liability insurance and any traffic management and signage needed to make the event run smoothly. We’re always happy to give advice and direct them to companies that can help and, in most cases, the traffic management costs can be funded by local civic organisations or from Councillor divisional funds.
“As a community leader in my own local area I organise our own local Remembrance Parade which involves road closures and I liaise closely with my local Royal British Legion, the church and the police, with everybody working together. It is not down to just one organisation to make these events happen. The County Council is there to facilitate the road closures at the request of the organising bodies.”