At least two parades will take place in the Selby region on Remembrance Sunday this year, despite a recent decision by North Yorkshire Police to withdraw traffic management for such events.
Selby Town Council have bought in stewarding and traffic management provision from the private sector and expect their parade to go ahead as usual. Town Clerk Gill Bell said: "We were made aware earlier in the year that this might be an issue, when we read reports of the St George's Day parade, where it was apparent that the scouts had needed to make their own provision. Because of that we were able to make the necessary arrangements in good time." A statement on the Tadcaster Town Council website indicates that their parade will also go ahead. It announced: "The town’s commemorative activities will take place on Sunday 12 November 2023. As in previous years there will be a parade followed by a church service in St Mary's Church and wreath laying afterwards at the War Memorial." It is believed that the withdrawal of police provision will affect over 30 smaller parades in North Yorkshire, but it is not known how many of these will be in the Selby area.
The Selby Times has made several approaches to North Yorkshire Police to clarify this in recent weeks, but we have yet to receive a response. Assistant Chief Constable Elliot Foskett recently issued a statement, responding to criticism of the force's position, saying that the criticism was founded upon “misleading interpretations of North Yorkshire Police’s decision.” He acknowledged that the force had decided to cease traffic management support to 32 smaller events in the county, but said that this was required by a law. He said that the Traffic Management Act 2004 placed the responsibility for traffic management on local authorities and event organisers. He said: "The National Police Chiefs' Council and the College of Policing have stressed that policing should not take responsibility for closing roads or managing traffic, other than in an emergency. This is to make sure police resources remain focused on tackling crime and anti-social behaviour." “With immediate effect, North Yorkshire Police has repositioned to fully comply and will not be undertaking routine traffic management for any Remembrance Day events in 2023 and in subsequent years." He said that the upset caused by the decision was understandable, but that it was wrong to suggest that North Yorkshire Police no longer supports Remembrance Day. He said: “We simply could not continue to act outside of the legislation and national police guidance." “As a veteran of eight years, with two brothers still serving members of the military, a grandfather who was a Marine in World War Two and an uncle who served in Burma, I am fully behind Remembrance Sunday and so is North Yorkshire Police."
Remembrance Sunday March Back 2022, led by a police officer with traffic waiting behind. (17-08-181 ST)