Chief inspector speaks out following criticism of march parade route through Grantham

Accident and Emergency at Grantham Hospital
Accident and Emergency at Grantham Hospital

Concerns that protesters will go against police advice and push through the town centre during tomorrow’s march have prompted a statement from Lincolnshire Police.

Protesters will gather on the green in St Peter’s Hill tomorrow (Saturday) at noon and set off on the march around 15 minutes later.

They will be guided out of the town centre, setting off along St Catherine’s Road, through The Paddock, along the Riverside Walk, through Wyndham Park, crossing over Belton Lane and into Manthorpe Road, gathering outside the entrance to Grantham Hospital.

However, some have criticised the route and feel the march should go along the High Street to give protesters a stronger presence. As such, the police force is concerned that a crowd will choose to march through the town centre.

In a bid to defuse tensions, chief inspector for North and South Kesteven Mark Kirwan commented on the Facebook page of Fighting 4 Grantham Hospital, the campaign group behind the march.

He wrote: “As you are aware, there is a protest taking place on Saturday 3rd September regarding the current situation with Grantham A and E.

“My role on Saturday is to do my best to ensure you have a safe and peaceful protest with limited or no disruption to other persons. I genuinely want to create an environment whereby you can exercise your democratic right to peaceful protest however, I also need to keep the roads clear, keep all persons safe and keep the town functioning.

“As some of you may be aware, on this occasion, some of the marching route will take you via the riverside however, in the future, given more time, this may change and alternative routes may be possible. My number one priority is public safety so I want to express my thanks to you for understanding the situation we are in given the time scales.

“I know how important this issue is to the local community and you have my commitment to work with you on any future events to best accommodate everyone’s needs.

“Thank you for your time and I hope you have a very positive day.”