St George's Day Scout parade to be cut short

The Sleaford district Scouts' St George's Day parade will not go ahead as planned on Sunday due to issues with road closures.

Sleaford St George's Day Scout Parade to St Denys Church last year. EMN-180419-172310001
Sleaford St George's Day Scout Parade to St Denys Church last year. EMN-180419-172310001

Instead, the 500 young people will assemble in the Market Place with a procession of flags to St Denys’ Church. A spokesman for the Scouting district said he made the decision on Friday night after discussions with highways officers and Lincolnshire Police.

He said: “We will have no police presence this year and safety of the children on parade is paramount. The local authority only approved the parade plans last week after we applied in October to the Highways event planning team and they wanted advance warning signs up by last Friday.”

Sign up to our daily LincolnshireWorld Today newsletter

The spokesman said he had no idea where to start to arrange signs and barriers and did not wish to risk adult helpers being abused by impatient drivers during the parade.

He said: “We don’t have time to look at it in detail and around Lincolnshire a lot of groups don’t do a parade any more.”

He added: “I will set up a working group with representatives and see what we want to do next year.”

Coun Richard Davies, Executive Member for Highways, said Lincolnshire Police contacted the Scouts in October to tell them they would be unable to support the event, saying: “We only received the Scouts’ revised event plan at the beginning of April. Despite the last minute notice, we’ve managed to get all the necessary legal paperwork done.”

He said necessary signage is minimal - three advance notice signs up seven days ahead of the event, with three road closed signs on the day.

“We would be happy to arrange for our contractor Kier to lend them some signage, although the Scouts would need to collect it and put it out. We’re looking to offer some free training to parade organisers in the near future.”