The Knaresborough Branch of the Royal British Legion has been rocked to the core on receipt of a letter from the assistant Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police informing the Branch that North Yorkshire Police will no longer provide the Traffic Management function for Knaresborough’s Remembrance Day Parade on Remembrance Sundays as the force needs to make sure Police resources remain focused on tackling crime and anti-social behaviour.
This immediately puts this year’s Remembrance Day Parade’s at risk of being cancelled and future ones not happening too.
Speaking for the Knaresborough Branch of the Royal British Legion, vice-chair Dave Houlgate said:
We were not expecting this and it is a major blow for the town. There is of course a cost to providing our own Traffic Management provision so this decision by North Yorkshire Police almost certainly means there will be no Remembrance Day Parade in Knaresborough as things currently stand. And it is not just Knaresborough, it appears that North Yorkshire Police have made this decision right across the county. We are devastated.
We are a charity and we are focused on raising funds to provide lifelong support to serving and ex-serving personnel and their families. So even though every year we also lead the nation in commemorating and honouring those who have served and sacrificed, we cannot justify spending funds on Traffic Management.
On Remembrance Sunday every year we remember those from Knaresborough who lost their lives on active service in all conflicts; from the beginning of the First World War right up to the present day, as well as all those who have served from the town and their families. The day starts with a service at St John’s Church and then there is the Parade, lasting around 20 minutes to the War Memorial in the Castle Yard.
Apart from the Covid lockdown this will be the first time in living memory the Remembrance Day Parade will not happen here in Knaresborough unless there is a change of heart by North Yorkshire Police, which seems unlikely, or something else turns up.