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Remembrance parade costs soar in Baughurst
RED tape about road closures means Baughurst Parish Council has had to set aside £900 so this year’s remembrance parade can go ahead.
The council was informed earlier last year that Hampshire Constabulary would no longer be able to close off the four roads in Baughurst required for the parade to the war memorial at the crossroads of Brimpton, Wolverton and Baughurst Roads.
In previous years the police have used squad cars to close roads, two of which were shut for 45 minutes.
But the situation has changed since guidance was issued by national police chiefs in 2009, stating that organisers are required to apply to the local authority for a road closure order before police are legally able to shut roads.
Mrs Waterfield said the police had told her they would attend the event, which attracts between 300 and 400 people, but that it was now the parish council’s responsibility to organise road closures.
She said of last year’s parade: “I have been clerk for 25 years and this was a lot of work to get everything done.”
The effort required the clerk to draw up a road management plan, signage schedule and risk assessment, which had to be approved by the borough council, county council and police before an official order was approved.
The AA provided a road signage scheme and the county council agreed to provide the signs for free.
However, this cannot be guaranteed for future years and the parish council has agreed to budget £900 for the provision of road closure and diversion signs. The same amount of signs was not previously required for the parade, which sets off from Heath End Village Hall.
The guidance was issued by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) in 2009 which states that local organisers must apply for road closure orders.
Hampshire Constabulary declined to comment as it was an ACPO matter.