by cllrrykdownes on 29 January, 2016
Councillors Colin Campbell, Ryk Downes and Sandy Lay, (Lib Dem, Otley and Yeadon) have expressed their concern at the decision by West Yorkshire Police to withdraw the traffic control and management duties they traditionally perform at the historic Otley Agricultural Show.
The police withdrawal from the show, to be held on Saturday 21st May, is a blow to the organisers, who now face a much larger bill to procure a private contractor.
In addition to this, the police were able to provide officers for ‘point-duty’, to physically direct the traffic at various junctions around Bridge End, which is something neither private contractors nor the council are permitted to do. This could lead to chaos on the day for motorists trying to reach the event.
Cllr Campbell (Lib Dem, Otley & Yeadon) said
“As long as I can remember, the police have provided what many saw as their traditional role of traffic management for this event. It is the oldest agricultural show in the county and photos of the event always show the local police helping out by managing the traffic associated with the hundreds of people who flock to Otley to enjoy it.”
Cllr Lay (Lib Dem, Otley & Yeadon) said:
“I am sad to say it is another example of the police withdrawing from their traditional role supporting the community. I appreciate that the government has cut funding but we believe that helping control traffic is part of the police’s core role.
“The decision to withdraw support will impact the show both on the day and financially and I would urge them to look again at their decision.
Cllrs Campbell, Downes and Lay have written to the Police and Crime Commissioner expressing their concern at this further reduction in police support for the community of Otley and asked him to think again.