New march orders for city parades

GLASGOW City Council is tightening up the rules governing parades and marches.

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Among a list of changes to the policy are that no parade music, including marking time with a drum, will be allowed within 100m of a place of worship.

There will also be further discussion on how George Square will be used by parades.

A meeting of the council's Executive Committee rubber-stamped changes to parade policy, but they did not include an earlier suggestion that George Square should be completely ruled out as an assembly or dispersal point for marches with more than 1000 participants.

Councillor Aileen Colleran, executive member for communities, said the changes were "necessary and proportionate."

George Square is about to under-going a £15 million revamp to get it ready for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, effectively ruling it our as a location for assembly and dispersal for the next two years.

Councillor Colleran added: "The committee was of the view that during redevelopment works further discussions should take place on the use of the square to address the range of views received.

"Significant progress has been made in the last three years in strengthening relations with the main organisations, resulting in a 27% reduction in processions, the largest with the Orange Order, as well as a reduction in police costs of £250,000 through increased self stewarding.

"Arrests and fixed penalty notices have also continued to decline.

"One of the main drivers of the policy was parades impacting adversely on the city's retail, leisure and tourism focus, and there are particular issues of congestion around bus and rail stations and prime bus routes."

And she added: "The conclusion from the review is that the policy is working – organisers are accepting a greater level of responsibility for the safe conduct of their processions.

"Moving to event management planning will reduce time and resources across all parties.

"The council will continue to both monitor its effectiveness and engage with organisers and the community to address issues and concerns as they arise."

Among other changes agreed were that all large parades should assemble and disperse off-street rather than using road networks and industrial areas.

Public parks or other off-street areas should be used when parades gather and disperse, the rules now say.

ewan.fergus@ eveningtimes.co.uk

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