Posted: 16.10.20 at 14:35 by The Editor
A STALWART of Stanford-le-Hope's annual remembrance service - which draws huge crowds to the Green each November - has once again challenged Thurrock Council to step up to the plate and explain what it plans to do to mark this year's events in the borough, which will be massively scaled down because of coronavirus.
David Meacham is calling on borough residents to press the council to explain what it plans to do after the Royal British Legion declared it could not - and would not - get involved in organising events this year.
Mr Meacham has been trying to get the council to organise small events and manage safety and says he is staggered at a recent comment by the authority that no-one has been in touch.
He has got acknowledgement from the council of his own efforts - and says he knows other groups, including the Thurrock Royal British Legion branch, have also been in touch.
His anger was sparked when he learned of this statement sent by the council to another group:
"Remembrance Day events – The Council is not aware of any applications, Parades and road closures are discouraged due to the difficulty of ensuring social distancing as well as ensuring the actual numbers attending are not exceeded. All events would require the event organiser to write a COVID secure risk assessment and to ensure this was adhered to.
“The Council will be contacting the local churches to see if any private services will be held to arrange for Council representation if appropriate. The Council is looking to promote the national arrangements, as well as encouraging people to Remember at home, marking the 2 min silence on doorsteps.”
Thurrock Nub News is also aware that the council has been contacted and in August we ran a story confirming the council was aware local people are looking to it for guidance.
And Julie Nelder, Assistant Director – Highways, Fleet & Logistics, took further responsibility asking local people to contact her.
She told Mr Meacham: “Please be assured that this important issue is being discussed as similar enquiries have been received from others who have also managed RBL events in the past.
“A full response will be provided to you within the next two to three weeks, if not before.”
More than seven weeks later Mr Meacham says he has not had any messages about any events and in particular what might be happening in Stanford.
He is worried people will turn up in numbers and that safety measures will not be in place.
Mr Meacham adds: “Local authorities across the whole of the United Kingdom remain responsible for setting the parameters of an appropriate ceremony marking Remembrance Sunday in accordance with the Covid restrictions relevant to that location.”
“Come on Stanford-le-Hope, I have tried my best with no response. Now it is down to you to challenge the council!”