We were shocked earlier in the month by Shropshire Council proposals to charge for street closures for not-for-profit, community and Remembrance parades.

The reaction around the county was furious. I wrote:

“Charging for commemorating those that have died to support our freedom is to put it bluntly, disgraceful. It shows that the council has lost any sense of moral purpose and that it is more interested in earning money than paying respect. And it is mean spirited. Charging for Remembrance events will only raise £1,400 year.”

Last Wednesday, the council’s cabinet agreed to scrap the proposals and charge only for commercial events.

In June 2022, the Place Overview Committee recommended that costs should be recovered from commercial organisations but not from not-for-profit organisations, such as charity community led events. Administration of a road closure costs from £100 to several thousand pounds for complex events. But the officer report presented to cabinet goes a lot further than the original recommendations by the Place Overview Committee.

Portfolio holder Richard Marshall told the cabinet on Wednesday:

“Remembrance Day is an extremely important event in our calendar. In discussions with other members of cabinet, we are unanimous that we would never charge for road closures associated with Remembrance Day, nor indeed for charity and non-for-profit events.”

That’s good news.

I am puzzled about how the paper proposing charges for not-for-profit events got on the cabinet agenda in the first place. Did the portfolio holder not see the paper before it was published? A little quality control would have prevented a flurry of complaints about the council’s apparent plans.

A future paper to cabinet is expected charging only for road closures for commercial events.

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