CHESHIRE’S police and crime commissioner (PCC) wants the force to reconsider plans not to provide traffic management at Remembrance services from next year.

David Keane is set to discuss the issue with Chief Constable Darren Martland at a scrutiny meeting on Wednesday morning.

It comes after town and parish councils were told that the force would no longer provide any traffic management service on Remembrance Sunday from 2020.

Mr Keane, who will be seeking re-election as Cheshire’s Labour PCC next May, insists Remembrance services are a priority for residents that officers should continue to support.

He said: “Remembrance Day events are a very important opportunity for our communities to recognise those who have served our country and given the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf. They also represent a key community engagement opportunity for local policing.

“I have been made aware by both local residents and community representatives of concerns regarding the level of support being provided by Cheshire Constabulary to support parades and events.

“Whilst I do understand that the chief constable has to make difficult decisions with finite resources, I have raised this issue directly with him and asked him to provide me with assurance that the decisions being taken by the constabulary do not undermine the support to local communities.

“I have been assured by Chf Con Martland that Cheshire Constabulary will be maintaining the same level of support at events next year that has been provided in previous years.

Winsford Guardian:

From left: Chf Con Darren Martland and David Keane PCC

“I have made it clear to him that this is a priority for local residents and I will be holding him to account on their behalf and discussing this issue at my upcoming scrutiny board meeting.”

Following a review earlier this year, Cheshire Police decided it is more appropriate for event organisers to find alternative traffic management and apply for road closures with their borough council for future Remembrance events.

It scaled down the number of officers available for traffic management on Sunday, although there were still more than 230 officers and PCSOs at 69 Remembrance events in the county.

The move meant some Remembrance event plans had to change – with Winsford Town Council shortening its parade route, while Weaverham Parish Council stumped up an extra £600 to cover traffic management, and Barnton Parish Council cancelled its parade entirely.

Cheshire Police says that any requests for police support on Sunday were provided by the force.

A spokesman for Cheshire Police said: “It’s really important to us that people are able to commemorate those who gave their lives is really important to us.

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“A review will now be conducted of this year’s events and a meeting will be held in the near future with local authorities and event organisers in order to discuss their requirements for next year.

“Cheshire Constabulary is, and will continue to be, committed to working with organisers to provide the necessary support to ensure that Remembrance Day parades are able to go ahead, ensuring the safety of the public.”