year’s Whit Walks were policed and went well, there remains a
doubt over future Police commitments to such events and Chair of
the Forum had written to the Rochdale Divisional Commander, which
was read out:
Dear Chief Superintendent Anderson
I am writing to thank Inspector Khan and the attending PCSOs Colin Taylor, Andrew Sanderson and Lorraine Entwistle who did an excellent job last Sunday morning, in Bamford, which enabled our walk to take place in the traditional, safe environment. The event proceeded without any problems.
However I was concerned that I wrote to you in mid March and did not receive any acknowledgement or response. I then read in the Observer about the problems which the Vicar in Milnrow was encountering. Another of my roles here in Bamford, in addition to my being the Secretary at Bamford Chapel is that of Chairman of the Bamford & Oakenrod Forum. So because time was passing and I was in process of arranging the Agenda for the next Forum meeting which is to be held at Bamford Chapel on 3rd June I began to flag up my dilemma, copying in the local Councillors etc. Our Township manager, Stuart Hay, contacted our Area Inspector, hence my thanks to Insp. Umer Khan. Within a few days he came back to me and assured me that he would do all he could to ensure the event would go ahead.
We were committed to Rochdale Intermediate Brass Band to the tune of £250 and I have liaised with 2 other Churches in the area, St. Michael’s and St Vincent’s. Youth Organisations etc. I was also indebted to Stuart Hay for his help. I have tabled these problems on the forthcoming forum meeting agenda. I hope you can appreciate that we cannot continue to be what might be described as being discriminated against when we pay Council Tax which include precepts for Police and Fire services whilst there are numerous supported community activities which go on throughout the Borough, throughout the year.
I have made similar arrangements for this event now for over 30 years and Bamford Chapel has witnessed as a Christian Community, at the heart of this community now for over 200 years. I trust that this matter can be resolved in order that there is no repetition next year and on into the future.
A reply is awaited but it is very clear having met with Head of Community Safety and Highways that in future any group or individual organising any event on the Highway must apply to Highways for a road closure. RMBC Highways have agreed to charge a much reduced fee to cover costs of £119 to any not for profit group and not the £804 full charge. The road closure would be under the Town Police Clauses Act 1847 and be of the rolling road closure type which is the most suitable for such parades as opposed to a full closure under Road Traffic Management legislation where additional costs would also be incurred for signage, barriers and road cones.