Labour-run council cancels Remembrance Day parade

Minister on pro-Palestine march on Remembrance weekend

Barry Town Council has cancelled this year’s Remembrance Day parade.

The Labour-run Welsh town’s decision, which it blamed on “health and safety concerns,” has sparked a political outrage.

Welsh Conservatives leader Andrew RT Davies blasted the “feeble excuse” and said it was a “shameful” decision.

Barry Town Council leader Bronwen Brooks sought to justify the cancellation by citing an incident five years ago when a veteran was injured during a parade.

In 2018, Army veteran Ade Stowell was hit by a car at a parade in Warwickshire, leaving him with serious head injuries.

Ms Brooks said that following this incident, the Royal British Legion (RBL), which had been responsible for parades until then, asked the council to take on “additional responsibility” for the parade.

She said that following planning meetings with the RBL this year, the council decided that the health and safety challenges “cannot be overcome at this late stage”.

In response, the Welsh Conservatives leader lamented that the council had cancelled the event when it had paid about £8,000 towards a Pride parade earlier this year.

He tweeted: “Barry Town Council’s decision to cancel this year’s Remembrance Sunday parade is shameful.

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“And their feeble excuses don’t wash.

“The council could and should have taken all necessary steps to make the usual parade happen.”

Barry Town Council confirmed an outdoor service would be held at the Cenotaph on November 12, followed by an indoor service at an arts centre.

Ms Brooks said: “Barry Town Council is committed to providing a Remembrance Service for the people of Barry and honouring those who gave their lives for us and our freedom.

“We have worked with Royal British Legion for many years to create a lovely service and will continue to do so, where we are able.

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“We are saddened to have to cancel the parade for 2023, but due to unresolved health and safety considerations, we have to prioritise the safety of the groups, pedestrians, veterans, emergency services, children and staff.

“Hopefully, Royal British Legion and Barry Town Council can work together on these issues next year.”

The RBL confirmed it did not take the decision to cancel the event, as a spokesperson said: “Whilst we are happy to be consulted and provide assistance to organisers, the Legion is not responsible for, nor takes any final decisions regarding the delivery of these events.”

A council spokesman said it remained committed to supporting local community events, and cited its past support for events such as Elderly Christmas Meals, Barry Pride, Halloween Trick or Treat Trail and Easter Trail.

The decision comes as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak condemned “provocative and disrespectful” pro-Palestine protests planned for Remembrance Day in London.

Thousands of demonstrators demanding a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict are set to take to the streets of London on November 11, sparking fears thay the events commemorating the nation’s war dead could be disrupted.

Mr Sunak’s intervention comes after security minister Tom Tugendhat wrote to London Mayor Sadiq Khan, the Metropolitan Police and Westminster Council urging them to look at what powers they have to deal with the rally.

Scotland Yard has vowed to use all its powers to stop disruption of Remembrance events.

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