Neath Port Talbot Council has taken decisive action to ensure the continuation of cherished Remembrance Day Parades in Neath and Port Talbot.
The Royal British Legion (RBL) branches in the towns which traditionally organised these poignant ceremonies faced challenges due to branch closures and the extensive risk assessments now required making the task of organising these events much more onerous.
As a result, on September 20th, 2023, Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet approved the council taking over the role of ‘Event Organiser’ for the parades, at the same agreeing a payment of just over £18,000 to pay for expenses including supervisors, traffic management and safety barriers.
The council will now work with partners to coordinate the parades.
In the past, the Port Talbot’s parade was organised by the town’s RBL branch. However a “Remembrance Parades Policy Update” issued by RBL headquarters restricted its ability to organise parades involving road closures.
As a result, last year’s well attended Remembrance event at the Taibach Memorial Park had to be a “static” ceremony.
Similarly, the Neath parade was organised by the local RBL branch until its closure in 2019 and subsequent years saw different organisations stepping in to coordinate the event including the local Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) branch, the Lord Lieutenant of West Glamorgan’s office and St David’s Church.
Councillor Wyndham Griffiths, Neath Port Talbot Council’s Armed Forces Champion – and a former serviceman – emphasised the council’s commitment to supporting the local armed forces community.
He said: “Although it has long supported Remembrance Events through the Mayor’s Office, the council’s new role as official Event Organiser reinforces its dedication to remembering the sacrifices made by those who have defended our freedom and way of life with their lives.”
This council has a long record of supporting the armed forces community locally having signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant under which it has pledged to acknowledge and understand those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, should be treated with fairness and respect in the communities they served in their Armed Forces roles.
The council has won Silver and Bronze Covenant Awards recognising its commitment to the scheme.