There has been some confusion over this year’s Remembrance Day parade in Caerleon on November 8th.
Unfortunately one or two people have used local social media networks to blame the Council, and by implication our local councillors, for an alleged cancellation of the traditional march through Caerleon. The council are accused of refusing to insure this year’s event.
Perhaps it would help if we explained some of the background to this. It looks as if some individual organisations will now march, on the understanding that it is at their own risk. But unlike the ceremony in Newport City Centre – the Caerleon Remembrance event has never been organised or insured by Newport City Council.
The three local coordinators of the event, who operate in an entirely private capacity, have been told by public safety advisers that if they want to organise the march they personally would have to take out public liability insurance themselves. That would be extremely expensive for them. Organisations like the British Legion and the Scouts have their own insurance but this would not cover the march as a whole.
If a member of the public joined the march and was injured, that could be very costly for the coordinators. They, with the support of Caerleon’s councillors, are now looking for outside help in time to insure next year’s march, but it’s too late to do anything this year. In the meantime the ceremonies in the Church and the Memorial Garden will go ahead. But as far as the coordinators are concerned all attendees will take part at their own risk.
Newport Council have confirmed that arrangements have been made to allow the march to go ahead with a press release. It says:
“Newport City Council can confirm that the road closure required for the Remembrance Parade in Caerleon on Sunday remains in place. The council has not stopped the march taking place.The council’s responsibility is only to make the necessary road closure to ensure those participating can do so safely. Any other matters, including an assessment of risk, rests with the organisers and participants.”
It’s worth stressing that in some parts of the UK Remembrance Day parades have been cancelled all together because of cuts to police budgets – not the fault of local councils but ordered by Tory Home Secretary Theresa May.