Fears for future of scouts parade through Grantham on St George’s Day

This year's St George's Day scout parade.
This year's St George's Day scout parade.
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The future of the St George’s Day parade through Grantham has been put in doubt after Lincolnshire Police said it could no longer provide officers to marshall the event.

The force has told scouts groups across the county that it will no longer be able to provide assistance with parades on St George’s Day, following Sunday’s event.

Malcolm Hall, chairman of the Grantham and District Scouts Association.

Malcolm Hall, chairman of the Grantham and District Scouts Association.

The Lincolnshire Police events planning team has told Grantham scouts that there are other methods of managing traffic for the parades – incorporating road closures, signage and volunteers – and that it will be willing to offer advice and guidance on this.

Chairman of the Grantham and District Scouts Association Malcolm Hall said it would be difficult for groups such as the scouts who take part in the parades to find the money to pay for road closures.

Mr Hall said: “The parades have been going on for as long as the scouts have existed. Baden-Powell [scout movement founder] said St George was the patron saint of scouts.

“I have been doing this for 60 years since I was a cub in Derby. It’s minimal disruption when you fit it into an officer’s day and the number of incidents recorded on a Sunday must be low.

“We cannot fund these road closures ourselves so we are throwing ourselves on the mercy of the chief constable.”

A meeting is due to be held next week by scout leaders to discuss the situation.

Grantham district councillor Ray Wootten, who is a member of the county’s police and crime panel, said he is writing to the chief constable to ask him to rethink the decision.

Coun Wootten added: “The annual St George’s Day parade is part of our history and character and is well attended by members of the public.

“In my letter I shall be reminding the chief constable of his commitment to the community and that officers from the Special Constabulary could be utilised free of charge, or PCSOs.”

The Journal has asked Lincolnshire Police for a comment, but had not received a response by the time of going to press.