THE decades-old tradition of Padgate Walking Day will return this year despite the announcement of its cancellation.

However, it may look very different to how you have known it in previous years.

Former organisers of the event, Churches Together, announced it would be cancelled this year after concerns were raised at a meeting regarding safeguarding and low numbers of organisers and volunteers.

Despite this, a turnaround decision was made following a passionate response from residents for the century-old event to go ahead on the planned date of June 22.

And the driver of the decision to continue with the Walking Day, Cllr Sue Emery, has been passed the reigns to organise the event and ensure it goes ahead.

In the latest developments, it has been announced that five schools will not be participating and walking in the event.

Those schools include St Peter’s Catholic Primary, Woolston CofE, Bruche Primary, Cinnamon Brow CE and Christ Church CofE Primary.

In a detailed letter sent out to parents, the schools explained that following a meeting with Ms Emery on Monday, concerns regarding safety measures were ‘still not in place’ and issues including first aid, dedicated crowd control, numbers of trained marshals, staffing ratios and time scales were highlighted as being of concern to the schools.

The letter concluded: “Therefore we will not be participating in this year’s walk and hope you understand the reasons why.

“Hopefully with our input much earlier, we can return to a successful and enjoyable Walking Day next year, which celebrates our faith and our community.”

Further to this announcement, two schools, St Oswald’s and Oakwood Avenue, and several local churches will still be participating in the Walking Day.

Providing the latest information on the preparations for the day, Cllr Emery said: “As you may be aware, Padgate walking day is going ahead.

“First aid is covered, risk assessments are done, route is done, a marshals event is happening on June 15, traffic management is done, all that can be done has been done.

“We have had requests from community groups who would like to take part, therefore, if you have a group who has done risk assessments, has marshals and relevant insurances etc then please contact me with your paperwork and numbers who are walking.”

“Please be aware that without you doing this you will not be allowed to join the event on the day. I'm sure you will understand this, we have to be extra sure that the children who are walking will properly protected.”

She added: “On a lighter note may I thank you all for your determination to support Padgate walking day, let's make it a special one.”