Dartmouth Mayor’s parade cancelled due to road closure costs
Problem: If it takes four men to close three roads for half an hour for a Mayor’s Sunday parade, how much will it cost Dartmouth’s taxpayers?
Answer: Way too much.
That’s what Dartmouth town councillors think after being told that South West Highways was going to bill them a whopping £871 to ensure the half hour parade can go ahead.
Now the town has axed its traditional civic parade through the town centre for the second year running.
Furious Cllr Tessa de Galleani said: ‘I think it is absolutely and utterly outrageous and I cannot think that we can afford it.’
And equally angry Cllr David Gent added: ‘A group of Boy Scouts with flags could do it.’
Meanwhile the council’s general purposes committee chairman Felicity Smith added: ‘I do think we should keep our traditions but not at this price for marching through the town.’
The traditional Dartmouth Mayor’s Sunday parade involves the town council marching in their robes down Victoria Road, into The Quay and Fairfax Place to get to St Saviour’s Church for the service.
In past years the parade has included the band of the Royal Marines, a contingent of officers from the naval college and local organisations as townspeople lined the streets to watch.
This year the councillors will hold the church service on a date still to be set but without the parade. They plan to review the matter for the following year.
In previous years the police closed the roads and manned the side roads to ensure there was no danger from traffic.
They no longer carry out that job free of charge and councillors were told that if the police were employed to do the job it would be even more expensive than South West Highways.