Organisers vow to keep festivals going

St Michael's on Wyre Gala in 2013
St Michael's on Wyre Gala in 2013

Festival organisers are pledging to work together in response to Lancashire Constabulary’s plans to cut marshalling for annual village festivals this summer.

Fears have been raised over the safe running of the traditional parades after it was revealed police would be unable to take on marshall duties owing to economic and staffing cuts.

But St Michael’s On Wyre Gala chairman and former school headteacher Christine Cameron said after the changes introduced last year, committees across the district were well under way with plans and ready to go it alone.

She said: “At the end of the day these events are for the children and families of the villages.

“It’s about adapting and working together to make sure the galas, fetes and walking days carry on and don’t fade away.

“What would concern me more is if they keep bringing about more and more regulation making it harder for volunteers to keep them going.”

Mrs Cameron’s comments come after Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw was urged to review the Constabulary’s decision not to marshal some traditional parades.

There was all-party agreement on a motion put to Lancashire County Council by Coun Malcolm Barron calling for new ways of dealing with the issue.

The motion states: “Lancashire County Council regrets reports that the Lancashire Constabulary will no longer marshal traditional parades and walking days which contribute so much to the traditions and life of the county and asks the chief executive of Lancashire County Council and the Police and Crime Commissioner to examine all possible ways to assist with the marshalling of these parades.”

Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire’s PCC, has already held talks with the Chief Constable, and will be issuing guidance for event organisers.

He said: “I do not want to see these events cancelled, and I am committed to working with communities to find solutions.

“I will continue to support public events and will work with organisers to ensure public safety is considered from the beginning.”