20 October 2009

How Stupid and Bureaucratic Can You Get - updated

British Legion to be charged for Remembrance Day service road closures

I have just read on our local, regional scandal rag newsheet that the whitless wonders who govern Back of Beyondshire are about to implement what can only be considered stupid and Bureaucratic nonsense.

Honouring the war dead will cost The Royal British Legion in Back of Beyondshire £150 for every Remembrance Sunday service where a road is closed.

Towns and villages within the Back of Beyondshire Council area will be charged to cover the cost of advertising road closure public notices for the November 8 events.

Margaret Roberts, regional manager for The Royal British Legion, said: “The Royal British Legion would be extremely disappointed if charges were to be levied against the charity for Remembrance events.

“The Government fully recognises and wholly supports the importance of Remembrance ceremonies and parades to local communities, and the Legion wants people of all ages to understand the importance of remembering those from the British armed forces who have made the ultimate sacrifice defending the freedoms we enjoy.” Among those needing to close roads for their Remembrance events will be Flitwick and Shefford, which will need to close the High Street in order to hold the service next to its war memorial.

Shefford town mayor Paul Mackin said: “Shefford Town Council is pretty disgusted with the fact that someone is going to have to cough up £150 so we can hold a service to mark our heroes’ Remembrance Sunday Service.

“For them to come up with having to pay for the road closure notices is absolutely disgraceful.

“It’s unreasonable to be hitting charities for this sort of money.” Cllr David McVicar, portfolio holder for safer and stronger communities at Back of Beyondshire Council, said: “We will always offer help and assistance to any group requesting a road closure.

“Although there are road closure charges to all profit making organisations, under the Special Events Order, if the event is run purely for charity, there is no charge other than the advertising cost of £150.

“Back of Beyondshire Council classes Remembrance Day as a charitable event.”

For the Love of God, can we not just deem this something special rather than just another charitable cause.. the one time in the year to remember the fallen, not only of the first and second world wars, but the ones who are currently serving now...

Well something worked as this was the response I got to an email I sent to the twit in question

A further press release has been issued correcting the misinterpretation by Back of Beyondshire on Sunday regarding Remembrance Day Services. We will NOT be charging for any advertising relating to road closures on Nov. 8th. The misunderstanding arose from an explanation on how we intend to treat charity applications and our process for future years with regard to Remembrance Day. Rest assured no charges will be levied on the Legion for future years as we will post one advertisement covering all of Central Back of Beyondshire and the Council will absorb the cost. I trust this clarifies the situation.

With regards Councillor David McVicar
Portfolio Holder for Safer and Stronger Communities
Member for Icknield Ward, Dunstable

Hmmm I don't particularly like the phrase "our process for future years with regard to Remembrance Day" it smacks of trying to slide this one through under the wire in future years... not if I can help it..


Kippers Dickie said...

They tried this charging lark in Wycombe last year. They said they needed crowd safety barriers (at great cost). There was a public outcry but the whole thing went ahead anyway. I can't remember who paid or if they bothered with the barriers.
I think it was a H&S issue???? Can you imagine violent crowds at a Remembrance Service!

treebe said...

I'm in Canada and came across this story when joining a group for Remembrance Day on a social network and thought it was a joke of some kind. To be sure I googled it, sure enough there it was. I work at the Royal Canadian Legion and could not imagine it having to pay for road closures on a day that honors our Veterans and current soldiers. Its a disgrace and whomever came up with the idea should be ashamed of themselves.