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Legion hit by closure costs

OLTON’S Remembrance Day parade is in danger of being scrapped for the first time in 50 years - as the Royal British Legion struggles to meet the costs.

OLTON’S Remembrance Day parade is in danger of being scrapped for the first time in 50 years - as the Royal British Legion struggles to meet the costs.

Organisers say that the price is creeping up year-on-year with the legion facing bills of £8-900 just to close the roads.

John Daves, from the Legion, said that the cost of running the annual event was rising, while income continued to dwindle.

“We did make a preliminary decision a few months ago that we wouldn’t be able to hold the parade this year,” he told the Solihull News.

“But we’re going to get the committee together and see if we can sort out someone to sponsor the event.”

Solihull MP Lorely Burt said: “It would be tragic if the British Legion wasn’t able to march because of financial considerations.

“For many years the old soldiers and other members of the community have come out to pay their respects to those who have died in wars and that should continue.”

Mrs Burt said that she wanted to help come up with fund raising ideas to make sure that the parade in Olton went ahead as usual.

Problems began in 2007, when West Midlands Police announced they were going to stop providing the barriers and manpower needed to close roads.

The change meant that it was the local legions who have had to cover the costs - with some borough branches hiring in private companies to marshal the traffic.

Solihull Council confirmed that it waived the usual road closure charge for Remembrance Day parades, but traffic management was the responsibility of the legions themselves.

If you can offer any help, contact Olton Royal British Legion on 0121 706 0145.

 

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