Reporter: Gillian Potts
Date online: 07 October 2013
Ageing Legion members must fill out risk forms for Remembrance parades
REMEMBRANCE Sunday this year in being covered not by red poppies but by red tape
Service veterans are engulfed in an council-led admin nightmare that threatens to cast a shadow over Remembrance Sunday on November 10.
Royal British Legion members have been told they must fill out an “event and risk assessment” form before their parades can go ahead. What’s worse, the form must be filled-in online — a task baffling some of the organisers, who are in their 70s and 80s.
Saddleworth West and Lees councillor Val Sedgwick, who liaises with the British Legion to supply the council wreaths, said the issue has “incensed and upset” organisers.
“This is bureaucracy gone mad,” she said. “We rely on a few people to organise the parade, which is attended by many people who wish to honour the war dead, as people in Lees have done for over 80 years. All of a sudden we have to fill out this form. Ithink it’s a disgrace.
“How can they expect people in their 70s and 80s to go online and fill them in, it’s disgusting.
“What are they going to do next year when it is the hundredth anniversary of the start of the Great War?
“We fought two world wars for freedom and it is now being strangled with red tape from this so called cooperative council.”
Councillor Jean Stretton, Oldham Council’s Cabinet Member for Co-operatives and Neighbourhoods, said: “The Royal British Legion advises members to fill in risk assessments when organising events like Remembrance Sunday services.
“People who don’t have access to the internet can go to any of the borough’s libraries, where our staff will help them.”
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