‘Red tape’ outcry at Remembrance Day road closure

PLANS for the annual Remembrance Sunday service in Lampeter next week have been marred by “red tape and bureaucracy”.

The local police have been told they can no longer just stop the traffic in North Road, alongside the town’s war memorial, for the two-minute silence.

Instead the town council must apply for a road closure notice — but this involves sending an application form to the county council, a £30 admin fee, risk assessment, copies of its liability insurance and marshals in fluorescent bibs.

The town’s deputy mayor said it was “really sad” that the simple annual ceremony, to remember those who have died in the service of their country, had become mired in red tape.

Speaking in a week where two British personnel were killed, Dorothy Williams said: “Another two people have been killed and all these people are worrying about just stopping traffic for two minutes.

“I understand all these issues — but it does make me really sad.”

Speaking at the town council meeting on Thursday, Councillor Greg Evans said he was stunned at the lengths they would now have to go to, for a simple ceremony they have observed for years.

Crazy

“It’s only for two minutes,” he said.

“£30 for two minutes — that’s absolutely crazy.”

Ceredigion Council said it was processing road closure notices for Remembrance Sunday at a knock-down fee of £30 and told Lampeter it would speed through their late request.

The council typically asks for three months to complete the paperwork.

Councillor Hag Harris said he sympathised with the police, who have always unofficially stopped the traffic in the past but can no longer do so.

The town council was told the police do not actually have any power to stop traffic for a Remembrance Service.

Councillor Rob Phillips said: “There was a case where someone made a claim against the police for closing the road during a service.

“I think it’s ridiculous but it’s made chief constables think: ‘are we acting within our powers?’

“I can understand the police force not wanting to put its officers in such a situation.”

“I think its crazy but we’ve got to do it [take out a road closure order].

“It’s the law and we have to do it.”

The two-minute silence will be held at 11am on Sunday, November 11.

Article source: http://www.thisissouthwales.co.uk/Red-tape-outcry-Remembrance-Day-road-closure/story-17200565-detail/story.html