Plans to limit number of marches and parades in Glasgow

Orange parade in Glasgow The Orange Order made 182 of the 373 marches in Glasgow between 2009/2010

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Plans have been unveiled to effectively cap the number of marches and parades allowed in central Glasgow.

Under the proposals, the city council would not allow marches which may cause too much disruption or congestion.

Attempts would also be made to standardise routes and publicise the cost of policing parades.

Organisations such as the Orange Order and Irish Republican groups have been given until 28 September to respond to the plans.

The consultation document proposes "that any notifications submitted for processions which are likely to cause undue congestion or disruption in the city centre will be permitted only by exception".

It aims to ensure that "the containment of risks arising from the procession would not place an excessive burden on the police".

Start Quote

What we have done is try to reach a balance where we protect people's democratic right to demonstrate but without overwhelming the rights of the wider community”

End Quote Councillor Jim Coleman Glasgow City Council

The "estimated financial cost to the police and the estimated number of police hours required to police every procession" would also be published on council website.

In a move which would particularly affect the number of Orange marches, Glasgow City Council also aims to "adopt a policy of ending all return parades and limiting the number of feeder parades".

Efforts would also be made to "develop standard procession routes" to minimise disruption through consultation with residents, businesses and procession organisers.

The proposed changes come a year after the city council warned of "substantial" cuts in the number of Orange parades in Glasgow.

Since then, the authority has been looking at reducing the number of marches it accommodates in the city centre and, consequently, cutting the burden on policing resources.

With both organisations cutting staff in a bid to balance their budgets, reducing the number of marches and parades is seen as a way of saving money.

Councillor Jim Coleman, who is a member of Glasgow's public processions committee, said the council was looking to implement balanced proposals.

"We're looking for considered, pragmatic feedback," he said.

'Democratic right'

"It is in the interests of the marching organisations that we make progress, because the current position has become untenable.

"What we have done is try to reach a balance where we protect people's democratic right to demonstrate but without overwhelming the rights of the wider community."

The consultation document drawn up by Glasgow City Council has been sent to 29 organisations who have a history of marching or staging parades or whose businesses may be affected.

These include the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland, Calton Republicans, Indian Cultural Festival Committee, Scottish CND, the West End Festival and Glasgow Chamber of Commerce.

In 2009/2010, there were 373 marches and parades in Glasgow, with 72 in the city centre.

According to the council's figures, the Orange Order organised 182 of these marches, with a further 32 from the Apprentice Boys of Derry and 26 from the Black Institute.

These organisations accounted for some 64% of all marches in Glasgow.

There were 27 Republican marches - 7% of the city-wide total.

Of the remaining marches, 15 were classed as "bands" with 91 recorded under the heading of "others".

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