EMERGENCY services may have to declare a 'major incident' in Glasgow over management concerns after organisers of a potential 100,000-strong pro-independence rally refused to change the event's start time.

Police and fire chiefs are warning All Under One Banner’s plans to march from Kelvingrove Park to Glasgow Green on Saturday, May 4 could have a significant, detrimental impact on the city centre due to a larger than expected number of marchers. 

Organisers have been called to a Glasgow City Council hearing on Tuesday, where councillors are urged to impose an 11am start.

But All Under One Banner has so far refused to change, insisting the march will go ahead at 1pm as advertised.

Council staff, police officers and fire representatives met with the organisation last month.

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“The organiser made it clear that arrangements for the procession were already made and that estimated numbers are expected to be significantly greater than the 20,000 advised on the notification,” Director of Governance and Solicitor to the Council, Carole Forrest, revealed.

Her report stated All Under One Banner advised “given the level of participation in similar processions in 2018 and the current political climate, the estimation may well be approaching 100,000 participants”.

Police have called for the earlier start time to reduce the “detrimental effect” so many marchers would have on the city centre.

While Scottish Fire and Rescue said, if no changes were made to the procession, “a major incident would have to be declared to manage a response to any incident in the city centre”.

Ms Forrest said: “The organiser continued to state his opposition to any changes to the already published start time and advised all present that should the Council persist in its obstruction to the democratic rights of the organisation, he would simply withdraw his notified procession and cause the procession to continue by anonymous social media posts, thereby removing any responsibility from the organiser and the organisation, All Under One Banner.”

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The council’s Neighbourhoods and Sustainability department has also raised concerns over the organisation.

They say previous marches have failed to conform with Park rules and health and safety requirements or provide sufficient toilet facilities.

No permission has been given to the pro-independence group to use Glasgow Green unless they comply with Park rules.

However, due to the potential numbers involved the police and the Council will allow use of the parks for meeting and dispersal.

Ms Forrest said: “Both Police Scotland and Council Officers recommend that for the purposes of participant safety, permission be afforded to allow for assembly and dispersal purposes only at Kelvingrove Park and Glasgow Green.”

The processions committee are also advised to agree the route should be: Kelvingrove Park, Kelvin Way, Sauchiehall Street, Pitt Street, West George Street, Blythswood Square, West George Street, Nelson Mandela Place, West George Street, George Square, George Street, High Street, Saltmarket, Glasgow Green.