COUNCIL chief executive Steven Broomhead has penned a letter to Cheshire Police’s chief constable calling for ‘improved support’ for Warrington Walking Day.

Mr Broomhead told Darren Martland the council engaged with an event professional to ‘health check’ the overall Walking Day plan after the force committed to reviewing its approach to policing parades in the future.

It comes as uncertainty surrounds whether the police will provide traffic management cover at this year’s Remembrance Day services across the county.

Town and parish councils in the county were dealt a blow last year when they were told the force would no longer provide any traffic management service on Remembrance Sunday from 2020.

Cheshire Police decided it is more appropriate for event organisers to find alternative traffic management and apply for road closures with their borough council for future events.

However, the county’s police and crime commissioner David Keane, who is also a Warrington borough councillor, has said the services are a priority for residents that officers should continue to support.

In the letter to the chief constable, Mr Broomhead said: “A significant aspect that has been brought to our attention is police support.

Warrington Guardian:

Steven Broomhead

“Police support has greatly reduced over the years and has left the local authority providing the majority of resource and budget to support this church-led event which attracts over 3,000 walkers.

“It has also been suggested police support this year will reduce even further and we will not have attendance at planning meetings, police motorcyclists – paid or unpaid – and we will have no officer deployed in the control room.

“It transpires from our engagement with the event professional that the police have obligations to provide statutory duties which cannot be withdrawn as you are proposing.”

Mr Broomhead says the authority’s expectation is to have ‘improved support’ from Cheshire Constabulary – including an officer to attend planning meetings and all emergency services being ‘cognisant’ and carrying out planning for Walking Day in conjunction with ‘other category one responders’.

The Town Hall chief also called for the police to report their view on the threat of terrorism in relation to the event, an officer being in the control room on the day and the force providing assistance on routes in and out of the town centre, together with motorcycle support at key crossing points.

Mr Broomhead said Walking Day remains a very important event in the town with a ‘long history and heritage’.

He finished by stating that he looks forward to receiving an early response to the issues raised.