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Public meeting over Harold Payne's Holbeach Remembrance Parade

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A public meeting has been called to give residents the chance to have their say on plans for a Remembrance parade.

Veterans’ champion Harold Payne is organising a parade in Holbeach on Sunday, November 14, and wants to hear residents’ views at a public meeting at the Anglia Motel on Sunday, October 24, at 2pm.

Holbeach Parish Council is holding a static Remembrance Service due to issues with
marshals and training.

Harold Payne hits out at Holbeach Parish Council
Harold Payne hits out at Holbeach Parish Council

Mr Payne, who spoke out during last week’s full council meeting, said: “I would like people to come along and give me their views on what they would like me to do with the Remembrance parade

“People are passionate about Remembrance Sunday. I have had so many people ring me up including a veteran from Australia. He is furious.”

The parish council has shared its timeline of events leading up to the decision to hold a static ‘parade’.

Minutes from a meeting in May this year show it was
resolved to contact the British Legion to discuss road closure for November 7.

The July 8 events meeting minutes state that the road closure procedure had changed and that the date is November 14. It was reported to the July 30 events meeting that the road traffic order had been applied for.

The council says: “We were then told by Lincolnshire County Council that only two people could attend the (marshal) training and that it would be on October 20. The two who attended would then need to pass on this training to the
other marshals.

“We contacted LCC to ask how many marshals, signs, etc, we would need. We were
informed that these details would be given to us on October 20. As that date was a mere three weeks prior to the parade, we explained that we would need the information, sooner rather than later.

“After subsequent conversations with out insurers, it transpired that all marshals had to be parish council volunteers and that we needed a large number of marshals due to the length and amount of adjoining roads in the parade.”

It was reported at the August events meeting that the road traffic order had been applied for and that more than 20 marshals were needed – but an offer of 10 volunteers was minuted.

The council said: “By the time we reached our full council meeting on September 13, we were faced with a dilemma. We had put out a call through social media and the press, and via word of mouth that we were desperately seeking people to come forward as marshals, but that they would need to be trained (our insurance pre-requisite).If the required number of marshals did not come forward, it would result in a cancellation of the event.

“A plea was made for a stay of execution for a period of one week whereby a councillor
assured the meeting that marshals would be forthcoming. We received emails from various sources along with lists of names and contact numbers – it should be noted that some names were repeated. Our chair of the events committee sent a text message to all the names that were sent in (we are now aware that three names were not contacted).

“At the agreed extension time, we did not have sufficient marshals to safely run the parade. This would have been the same outcome even if the missed three marshals had been contacted. The clerk met with the secretary of the RBL Holbeach Branch and our chair of events committee and after much soul searching, we had no alternative but to make this year’s parade a static one as opposed to a marching one.”

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