Fears raised over the future of galas

Crowds at Knott End and Preesall Gala.
Crowds at Knott End and Preesall Gala.
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A community leader fears galas could become a thing of the past after resources offered by the police were stopped.

The police’s traffic management service, which plan road closures and provide security during processions, was stopped this year, leaving organisers and Wyre Council to come up with an alternative.

This led to some galas in rural areas of Wyre to cancel their processions and Coun Peter Gibson, leader of Wyre Council, claims there is “a danger” of the traditional events not going ahead next year.

He said: “I do hope it won’t mean the end of galas, but it (the withdrawal) does have knock-on consequences.

“Organisers have got to find the money to marshal the events and I hope it isn’t the case (galas ending), but I do think there could be a danger of that.

“It’s Preesall and Knott End gala where the road is going to be closed from 12pm to 4pm, which is a long time.

“It’s not going to help locally and is caused by the police not wanting to marshal the galas anymore.”

Coun Gibson will address the issue at the council’s full meeting next Thursday.

It comes after a similar problem in Fylde as Kirkham and Wesham Club Day was only able to go ahead after a group of Fylde veterans marshalled the event.

In his leader’s report, Coun Gibson writes: “I am sure you will agree the traffic management service provided by the police is of the highest quality and while such services can be provided by private providers or trained volunteers/marshals I am concerned a replacement service cannot match that by the police.”

Insp Mark Thackeray-Scott said: “Due to the significant resourcing implications in attending the numerous events held on an annual basis it has become necessary for us to review all occasions where we provide policing services.

“It is the responsibility of the event organiser to ensure the safety of those attending and to undertake all stewarding requirements.”

Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire’s police and crime commissioner, said he will review the situation relating to the policing of galas in the county.

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